The fashionable Ray Jardine on Separate Reality

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Messages 1 - 235 of total 235 in this topic
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Original Post - May 23, 2007 - 11:58am PT
Count the ways...

dirtbag

climber
May 23, 2007 - 12:16pm PT
But are those ultra light nerd glasses?
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
May 23, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
MY EYES, my eyes....
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
May 23, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
rasberry beret
























(...the kind you buy at a second hand store)
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
May 23, 2007 - 12:25pm PT
Cool photo.

Socks under EBs.
and I think I detect some kind of weird homemade mechanical devices stuffed into that crack. How can he trust his life to those.
TwistedCrank

climber
Hell
May 23, 2007 - 12:33pm PT
Protection placed on lead? Oh the horror.
up2top

Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
May 23, 2007 - 02:02pm PT
Is he as much of an eccentric, egotistical kook as he comes across in his ultra-light hiking books?

Ed
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 23, 2007 - 02:14pm PT
i've got a story that could answer that question in spades.

but i'm trying to be a better person and rid my life of negativity, so i'm gonna keep it to myself.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2007 - 02:19pm PT
Hey Ed,

I haven't spoken to Ray in about 30 yaers, but he was not egotistical then. It would have been hard to judge kookiness, as this would have required some 'normal' personality standard. Let's see: Werner? the Jims? Ray? Rik? the Johns? Bev? Kim? Jorge? Kevin? Ron? Dale? Alan? Ed? the Marks? Barry? Steve? Lloyd? Rick? the Mikes? Hummm.

All no's so far.

Ah, here is one, Roger. Yes, that would have been a good standard for 'normal.' So, by that standard, Ray was way kooky. Look at the dress code forcryingoutloud.

As you can probably gather from the posts of all us here on ST, nobody was 'normal.'

Roger

dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2007 - 03:04pm PT
BUmp for climbing thread
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
May 23, 2007 - 03:05pm PT
Damn, Ray's got some long legs.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
May 23, 2007 - 03:09pm PT
does he have a dead puma on his back?













great pic, please keep them coming!
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
May 23, 2007 - 03:15pm PT
Classic shot of Jardine sending S.R. in its origional state before the lip broke off. Would have been cool to have done it w/the mandatory jams at the end-
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 24, 2007 - 02:39am PT
Ray was a very nice guy when I climbed with him in the Valley years ago. He wasn't greatly talented, could barely follow me up Gollum, at that time, a 5.10 offwidth along the base of El Cap (right of Nose), but he had that tenacity and vision and desie to break through his barriers. He played the game according to his likes and his rules. I guess it didn't surprise me when I heard of the routes he was starting to conceive and...do.

Pat
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 24, 2007 - 03:48am PT
Is he plugging a cam in that shot or reaching for something? Seems late in the game to bother with a cam there, particularly if there's one behind his head. Love the hook. Being roofers my friends and I have always looked at this route and basically wondered if we could do the line up to it which, always in odd perspective, looks worse to us than the roof.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 24, 2007 - 10:22am PT
Roger, what a weird shot...who took it? Looks like a very very tight lead rope while there is something in just behind his left shoulder...

Yes Up2Top's suspicions are correct. Ray was "an eccentric, egotistical kook". Sorry Kids, but I won't mince around with this one either nor play to the "everything's relative" point.

He hid his "friends" devices from the rest of the climbing community for years. He therefore used them cheater-style and, but worse, also hung on tons of stuff, these secret friends included, without reporting it. Just one example: he tried to claim he and Vern Clevenger accomplished an early free ascent of Astroman, while Dale and others secretly watched from the ground with glasses, finding the team hung all over it. Ray chopped in the Jardine Traverse on the Nose, as if it were an ice climb. His deceit did not have much stopping it, and to top it off his cloying Christian orientation just made the whole picture even more contradictory and therefore repulsive.

His interactions with the rest of us were not clean and straightforward but perversely subtexted and devious---after all he was lying so much. As far as Oli/Ament's comments go, I will only agree that, right, Ray was not talented, but rather thick and uninsightful however dogged. That he now is a hiking guru is appropriate. His coy modesty was just the ability to call attention to whatever it was he was being humble about.

Peter Haan
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 24, 2007 - 10:26am PT
To save weight, there is no earpeice on the side away from the camera.

Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
May 24, 2007 - 11:03am PT
Cool! I remember this shot! Yeah I didn't get to lead this until after the lip broke as well...it was considerably harder back then!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2007 - 11:11am PT
Hi Peter,

I don't know who took the picture. It is a post card. The copyright date on the back is 1981. I'll post the back of it tonight. When I think about it, it might be staged as opposed to live action.

I am less judgemental about Ray than you. I came to accept that his 'hang dogging' style was a net benefit to climbing progression, allowing more talented climbers like Kauk and Bachar to set new standards more quickly than they would have otherwise. (I still have my notes and letters to Ken Wilson when we were trying to work out how to report his ascents in Mountain--maybe I can scan them and post them up.)

All that said, I cannot forgive and forget what he did to the Nose. Ray is an easy target and the Nose is a special case, but I try not to be more harsh on Ray than on Jim or Dale for doing the same thing on some of their climbs.

It seems that about the only thing that any of us stays upset about for years is someone lying about their accomplishments. Or, maybe more commonly, not disclosing the whole truth. (Another thread is opening up old wounds on this subject about a Meadows climb.) In Ray's case, I always thought that he was up-front about what he was doing and how he was doing it--hanging on everything until he had the climb wired then climbing it ground up while placing gear. Modern free would not exist if not for this style.

Best, Roger
snyd

Boulder climber
Asheville, NC
May 24, 2007 - 11:17am PT

Whatever! Perving from the base is ghey! Like you have never hung on a route!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2007 - 11:33am PT
Hey Synd, I think that you totally missed Peter's complaint.

For Peter's and my generation, along with lots of others on ST, hanging on gear meant that you didn't do the route. If you backed off, pulled your rope and re-climbed the section, you could claim that you did the route, but all the up front climbers stated that that is what they had done. Climbing is different now. Peter was talking about then.

Also watching others climb was and still is very common. What was not common was to claim a style that you did not make.

Anyway, I don't think Peter ever hung on gear. He tried stuff that he couldn't do, just like the rest of us did, stuff that was later climbed free. But on the stuff Peter did do his style was really simple: rope up, climb and place gear on lead (if you are lucky), go for it, scare the holy hell out of your partners, create climbs that no sane person would ever repeat, and encourage your second as they flail away.

Roger
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
May 24, 2007 - 12:45pm PT
Well said Roger.
jstan

climber
May 24, 2007 - 01:03pm PT
During the previous century I occasionally thought about some of this. But then I realized no two people climb the same. What is more to the point, why should anyone care what others do? Climbing is a very personal thing that frankly does not create anything lasting. (Is it really an obviously good thing to develop a new route and thereby destroy a piece of wilderness?) We do it because for some reason it pleases us. That is an end to it. I’ll say it yet again. Whymper has been dead for a long time. It is a rather strange pretense to think otherwise.

IMHO Ray’s best contribution came when he started walking. I have read some of his PC Trail books and don’t sense whatever it is that people object to in that work. What do they offer? New ideas. Lots of them.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 24, 2007 - 04:33pm PT
Stannard, you always climbed “personally”, some may call that “a rather strange pretense” .

John, you were a PhD physicist and in your post is the clear taint of lazy condescension. Many of the rest of us instead climbed as very hardworking outdoors professionals. We got our jobs based on our record; we wrote articles, books, and worked hard in talks and forums as notable figures in the art or sport. It was not a hobby as it clearly was for you. Many of us got very very far with it.

Some of this climbing oeuvre shall last forever, by the way; we will have Terray’s writings forever, John, clearly. We will always understand now that people have been on the summit of the Matterhorn. We will see our world differently than superstitious cavemen had when we look up at huge peaks, and know that instead of demons living there, that there are perhaps right at this moment teams climbing them have wonderful experiences. We climbed with this in mind, in order to not just scale the ladder of life, not to simply just feed ourselves but to do what every artist dreams of, making a difference before we vanish. Many of us did this to such an extreme that literally everything else in life was bracketed. The “games climbers play” view (Lito and others) is just an opportunity for comedy; this view does not deliver on the subject at all but of course is fun reading, in a similar fashion to your post.

All you butter-knife guys, those of you who want to simplify things down to a personal and relativistic state where nothing matters are the ones who are merely dreaming and do not consider the insane amount of devotion and professionalism that hundreds of men and women have given to us, some of them even their lives by the way. Nor do you acknowledge the world even in this view. It looks like you are afraid of conflict, frankly. In fact, though, such a point of view is disrespectful.

What happened, especially back then, 35 years ago, really DID matter and as it has turned out, DOES matter now, as Rog pointed out. We knew it would, you did not. The first free ascent of the Nose was not important to any journal of physics, but when it happened on Lynn Hill’s watch, climbing and just being in Nature, did change for all time. You will not minimize this. If climbing doesn’t matter, than nothing else matters as well, given your thinking. If climbing is just “fun”, you sure did not seem to be having much “fun” when you were in the Valley back then very briefly.

So, getting to the point, if climbers lied about what they did, or similarly if they chopped holds right into million-year-old granite faces the likes of which are incomparable in the world, it mattered not only because it was cheating in a major professional game where certain sorts of survival were at stake, but also was morally repugnant and unbelievably solipsistic, underlined when the natural world had to once again pay for it as well and permanently so. I think it is rather peculiar to think otherwise .

In sum, there are and have always been occurrences in mountaineering and rock climbing that have been really unfortunate and fueled by very real pressures of career or other kooky human needs. By buttering over these occurrences you turn your back on reason and reality and you contribute once again, nothing to the art. And you cavalierly belittle the tremendous accomplishments and sacrifices in our sport. What we do matters quite a lot and, as Rebuffat said, a climber’s integrity is everything.

Peter Haan
SF
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 24, 2007 - 04:55pm PT
"Perving from the base..."

Brilliant!
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
May 24, 2007 - 05:04pm PT
I second that one Mellissa. Snyd, whats up? Still crankin'? Hope you are doing well man-

D.K.
jstan

climber
May 24, 2007 - 06:34pm PT
Peter:
Thanks for your piece. Very well said, as one would expect from a very excellent writer.

I never thought of myself as lazy, but then what is a perception. While working I would get up from the desk on one hour centers to work briefly to exhaustion on door jams etc. That was what I had chosen. I made my choices. You made yours. Neither of us has regrets as far as the decision itself goes.

For me as the years went by it seemed more and more that the climbing we carried in our minds does not have long legs. It will not go the distance. Each generation tries to leave as little as possible for the children to do and to wonder at. We enjoy reading heroic tales from all the way back to ancient Greece. But what do those tales make us want to do? Go out and be heroes, of course. Hard to convince yourself you are that when the routes are all bolted up and spaced six inches apart. We need to leave stories for people. Perhaps more importantly, we also need to leave them room.

I would be somewhere near the last person to say you did nothing lasting, in the way you look at the question. But, for a moment, imagine you are a hundred years down the road and many many waves of the change we see around us right now have washed over climbing, as they assuredly will. The stories about Peter Haan are legends. But what more is there for the people? Do they have vistas of rock bathed in mystery that they can roll over in their minds? Wondering. I am only saying what we think we have left of a lasting nature, while good, will pale in significance to the other consequences of what we have done.

What you take for condescension is actually deep regret for what we are doing.

What you take as conflict, I do avoid. Would you say one serves a purpose by fighting to affect what will be here one hundred years after one has died? That is surely a fight only a fool would undertake. In such matters only one thing is left to us. We may only advocate. We may talk about the costs posed by the decisions ahead. An honorable course, surely. One for which the question of success or failure, is really quite irrelevant.

The decision itself must lie with the people who will live it.

John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
May 24, 2007 - 07:41pm PT
“What is more to the point, why should anyone care what others do?”

I'll take a stab at this. We care what others do because we are social creatures. We impose our “rules” on activities and we make value judgments about others and their accomplishments according to those rules. We find meaning in our personal experience, but for most of us that meaning is determined to a great extent by what we learn about the activity from others. Our experience does not occur in a vacuum.

“Climbing is a very personal thing that frankly does not create anything lasting.”
Define lasting. Forever? Yeah, you're right. Climbing ethics are indeed ephemeral. A lifetime? You're wrong. We still admire, even revere, courageous climbers. In the 1970's, courage was admired as much as skill. But the pursuit of harder routes was slowed to a crawl by the ethics of the day. Over time, expediency won out, and hangdogging and other tactics that were once anathema, became the new paradigm.

Now a few, thankfully a very few, who learn to climb in a gym, or in a park with closely spaced bolts, look at the Bachar-Yerian and wonder why he didn’t stop to put more bolts in—or worse—why someone doesn’t go back up there now and bolt it so “the rest of us” can have a crack at it. It won’t happen in your lifetime. It won’t happen in my lifetime, and judging by the admiration for this route and others like it on a recent thread, if it does happen in the next 50 years, the added bolts will be removed.

I agree that eventually what climbers did here will be forgotten. That does not in any way diminish its value and meaning for the participants and for those who learn of and appreciate the deeds of bold climbers back in the day.

JV
up2top

Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
May 24, 2007 - 07:45pm PT
Prime example of why this website is so unique. Thanks for the input from all of you who have climbed in past generations. The opinions and history you record here can't be found anywhere else and I value them as priceless -- regardless of your point of view.

Ed
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 24, 2007 - 07:55pm PT
John,

I join with you in the deep regret and fear that what we have done outside will affect the human race in ways not only regrettable but even more disturbingly, unforeseeable. I think you are raising a flag that it has not been all wonderful, what we have been able to achieve in climbing and outdoorsmanship. A two-edged sword one would think. I sense you are perhaps reflecting on the outdoors as a kind of super-commodity, that we in spite of best intentions are “using it up” in all kinds of unquantifiable ways, spiritual ways as well as physical resources, leaving, what? a fully discovered and very tired Nature. But perhaps that is only a chimera.

Certainly we now are going to have a globe whose systems are taking on way more energy than in centuries prior, and so will have unpredictable and clearly horrible results. But for climbing, we have to do it, it is in us like the sense of smell.

I don’t know, but we HAVE left stories for our children who will come along. Terray, Patey, Gervasutti, Pratt, Herzog---need I go on?---all have; now hopefully the youngest crop of adventurers will as well. Not getting your point unless the whole point is set with a backdrop established in the paragraph above. That it may all come to naught. But all this, this life, was never given to us with any guarantee that it would be endless and painless.... Surely there are no a priori nor a posteriori discoveries in climbing that are immutable like Pi, or Avogadro’s Number or Fermat’s last theorem, or the hoped-for Unified Theory one day. What there is for us is an awfully broad literature, amazing climbs which shall probably remain nearly forever for us. What we have is a really wonderful, jazzed-up branch of the humanities, frankly . If not, then this end you imply would be really be The End of all things, and a larger worry and discussion, and of course, yes, a real possibility.

No John, everyone knew how damned hard you and Richie and others worked out. It was legendary too. We all saw it and did understand. I was referring to moral rather than physical engagement.

We cannot go down the dinosaur’s way, as Robinson Jeffers inveighs; we have to strive in all things and when events like the Jardine Traverse happen, we have to speak out, we have to join together in the usual human behavior of disapproval and banishment, that’s all. Something many of us here on ST are good at. . And it does help right the Good Ship of climbing, believe me. And if people did not attempt to alter the course of things that “will be here one hundred years after one has died”, then the world would be very very different from what you experience it to be today. It is almost as if you know something about entropy that I don't (grin) . I really hope you are well, and thank you for your gentlemanly yet troubling reply.

PH
SF
jstan

climber
May 24, 2007 - 08:43pm PT
Peter there really isn't a hair breadth between our deepest convictions.

You bring up Richard and I have to tell you a story so typical of the collection of people we are. It actually happened in the Valley, believe it or not. We came accidently upon a chinning pipe suspended between two trees. Of course we had, somehow, to do something with it. Richard jumped up to it and his body moving at a controlled and exactly constant velocity pulled the chin up, passed through into a mantle, and completed the full possible range of motion. Jumping down he said as an aside, "You have to smile throughout, or you lose style points." If I had not run into people like this I would have been entirely happy to wander in the Adirondaks. Once you have seen this though, how could anyone leave?
WBraun

climber
May 24, 2007 - 09:05pm PT
I agree with Peter. It does matter when we go chisel some rock like Jardine blatantly did with no regard.

I was there with Jardine and Dale before they pinned out "Dales pin job" climb.

They were trying it that day and couldn't for the life of them do it. I said, "it won't go unless you pin it out", as a joke, but I knew Jardine wouldn't hesitate to debauch the thing for his own conquest. He even influenced Dale that day to go along with it.

He just couldn't leave it alone. It was "I must have this one too".

I saw what he did on that Jardine traverse above Dolt tower. Chiseled like a demon across the thing. Every hold was blatantly "enhenced" without regard again. There is the first toe hold that was chiseled like hell all around it to so you could toe power off it. Then he has the gall to tell us he didn't chisel. His partner told us he did. How stupid does he think we are?

Take a good look at "Phoenix" and the "Cringe".
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 24, 2007 - 11:11pm PT
Thanks Werner, I have ALWAYS wanted to hear exactly what it looked like up there on the Jardine Traverse, so now we know. Pretty serious and clearly what Ray was all about. Let this be the record. Call a spade a shovel.

This was the man who developed Friends but who also had a project to hack his way across perhaps the most beautiful stretch of supreme granite on the globe. And....his hysterical work will remain for hundreds of thousands of years. No wonder he is so obsessed by traveling light; it is nothing but transference due to his hideous acts on the rock.

ST people, you are looking at a blood feud that has been going on for over 30 years.
John, as you know, I spent a month or more with Richie Goldstone when he came to the Valley back in what, 1971? He was such a cool brilliant friend... I was so grateful. What you describe his doing was a kip, I think. Richie could do planches, inverted levers, iron crosses, olympic crosses,, one-arm pullups by the bushel, and just was so elegant and clear in his work. And he wore white mostly and was always showering...he said: “Cleanliness must ensue at some point”. He had a wife (Evie?) back East). I have to believe he was the strongest man ever to enter the Valley.... We did climb a few routes; the powers he totally owned on bar, rope and mat, did not transfer easily to weird Nature and her vagueries in smooth crack-filled Yosemite, but damn, he was absolutely such a great brilliant guy as well. Had he spent a year or two in the Valley, I am sure he would have owned it like no one has, ever! He used to needle Bev Johnson, ‘cuz they knew each other from back East. Bev thought it was cool too and of course enjoyed the needling good-naturedly. Richie loved hunting his friends , it was loads of fun. I have to think he still does! He left with us a wonderful legacy of his own.

Werner, related to what you just posted, Dale was kind of losing it then and hardly was an authority; hell, he was eating off of abandoned plates in the cafeteria and elsewhere and had become desperately compulsive in all kinds of ways. Without going into details, I knew him and his brother Alan when they were teenagers from Alameda and kept in touch for years into the mid 1970s. They started out as proteges. As time went by and the inevitable problems of larger life crept in like a sick old dog, it just got messy for him. He had been under the wing, as well, of Bridwell, who was also kind of having to re-figure what climbing was going to be and thought radical measures might be required. At times Jim was mistaken. Those times weren’t perfect or pretty, but quite a lot was going on.

best to you all, P.

john hansen

climber
May 24, 2007 - 11:39pm PT
I asked once before on another thread a few months back,, but,, does any one have a picture of the 'traverse' and also didn't
Lynn Hill, Caldwell, Rodden use this it to free the Nose?
WBraun

climber
May 24, 2007 - 11:58pm PT
You know

I am not the one to rip Ray Jardine the person. He was a friend to me and we got along. He just did weird things on the rock at times and a lot of us just did not agree with those ideas he had.

His thinking was; this big rock face, El Capitan could go free. So what if we chisel a few feet here and there. But he also applied that philosophy to other routes.

John Bachar wrote an article about that debauchery on the Nose in a magazine somewhere with photos a long time back.

That's just how it was/is ......

But yeah John Hansen, to free the Nose you use the Jardine chiseled traverse to archive that status.

Irony?
john hansen

climber
May 25, 2007 - 12:04am PT
Very ironic Werner... Is there any chance at all of some 'pure' 5.15 variation or something between the traverse and the top of Boot Flake?
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 12:40am PT
Peter...it seems you are much more forgiving to Dale and Jim for the same actions/acts than Jardine did.


Why is that??


WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 12:43am PT
Well you know Kevin,

Ray originally took a bad ground fall and got seriously hurt physically and psychologically. He couldn't lead a pitch without pro at his waist at all times after that.

Crack a Go Go was impossible for him to lead. Run out!

He told me he invented friends so that he could lead climbs again with minimal fear.

Anyways ........


WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 12:47am PT
Bob D

Dale and Jim's actions were definitely not on the same scale as Ray.

Ray took it way out there .......
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 01:25am PT
LoL just see .......
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 25, 2007 - 02:48am PT
Just a few random points. Ray didn't actually invent the Friend. Greg Lowe did, as I state in my history of free climbing. It was a bit of a theft, actually, a kind of stealing of an idea. The cutthroat businessman would call it jumping on an opportunity or something. None of that stuff, including Jardine's styles, were of much interest to me at the time, though they seemed all the way over in Colorado appalling. I was distracted by women and my own personal struggles and by the mid-70s already had begun to believe the golden days of a few climbers in rare lonely places were unfortunately hopelessly gone. Anytime I made some comment about someone's style, and it was a negative comment, I was amazed at how hard a whole group would come down on me for not keeping up with the times. When gradings seemed even to escalate a bit, Higgins and I did a new route by Reed Pinnacle called "Old 5.10," a route solid 5.11 in reality. We had to make our statements quietly. Werner brings up an interesting point that everyone who has free climbed the Nose has used those chopped holds. I would think a true ethic might be to deem that traverse compromised and to avoid it. Perhaps we're still waiting for a true and pure ascent of the Nose free? When I was younger and a very insecure little boy I became frightened of people and their judgments of me, always watching for any imperfection and any opportunity where they might be able to dismiss my accomplishments. On three or four climbs in Eldorado I made some little mistake or rested on a carabiner on an easy section after doing the hard part, or some such thing, and fearing to say something didn't, and it got me in hot water. I was climbing harder than anyone in Colorado at the time and doing 5.11 two years before it came to the Valley, but that didn't matter to anyone. The imperfections, and not openly reporting those, allowed some people to write me off through eternity. Some wouldn't even notice some of the routes I did in perfect style, which were many hundreds more than those botched jobs. I learned that the climbing community is pretty unforgiving, as well as pretty hypocritical. My friend Bridwell I think was miffed at Higgins doing Owl Roof and said to me one day in the Valley, "He didn't do it without using that chockstone." I learned later that it was Jim who fixed the chockstone and was planning to use it. That didn't make me love Jim any less, though. I didn't even know what integrity was until I started climbing with Gill and Royal and Pratt and Kamps and Higgins and all my other dearest friends who seemed to come to this world with integrity already a finely tuned attribute. My parents had tons of integrity but mistakenly assumed I would naturally follow along. So there was, as I remember it, little instruction in that area, a serious oversight on their part. I had to develop integrity the hard way, and I did -- with the help of many examples, and also with the long suffering and patience of my friends and for their not focusing on my stupid moments. The greatest of the climbers I knew were the most forgiving and good souled. It seemed always the lesser climbers who had the meanest hearts. Somehow my perception of this world is that a life is a progression, at best. Each of us starts somewhere and hopefully grows, hopefully learns, hopefully transcends pride, ego, dishonesty, and all the rest. Not one of us is perfect. We start out (using the analogy of a piano) playing Mary Had A Little Lamb. We make mistakes all over the keyboard. If we stay at it, we refine our technique, get better, do better. Some will always hold to the view they had of you when you were floundering to find the notes. That we are in a progression, or that life is the opportunity for such, I am convinced, and thus it often is better to worry about the mote in one's own eye rather than spend precious energy judging others. Sure judgments can be made, and accurately, but are they helpful and constructive to the person to whom they are given, or are they extensions of our own sense of greatness, our own sense of elitism? I've gotten caught up in this bad kind of judgment and criticism. And of course some won't grow, or won't visibly grow, with any amount of help, and some will go the other way, and that's always sad. They might be the people who least need our condescensions, in view of possibly sending them deeper the wrong way. Who knows? I relate to both what Peter says and to John. I feel the same passions, I think, that these two remarkable climbing pioneers have always demonstrated. I especially like what Peter says about how much we give and gave climbing. I did lots of climbing with Rich, lots of bouldering. I have fond memories of sitting next to him on a ledge in the Royal Gorge on a wall, as cars rattled across the bridge above us near the stars. He and I were both gymnasts and could do all the same things on bars, on floor, whatever. It was being with Rich, though, that made it good, as opposed to his physical strengths. I felt the same for many others, that they were fellow creatures in this ephemeral, warmly sunlit adventure of life, each of us trying to sort out life. John Stannard is one of the most artistic, controlled, and beautiful geniuses of rock that has ever set foot on rock. If ever there was a true master of footwork and little finger holds, it has been John. I will never forget his and my ascent of an Eldorado 5.11, dead vertical, arm pumping, and how easily he flowed up it. I have had the incredible fortune to actually climb with virtually all of the best climbers of my day (which actually was more the '60s and earlier '70s than any other time). Each had his or her singular gift and was not easily or in any meaningful way to be compared to any other. I think one of the strengths of the climbing community, when it is at its best, is what Royal calls magnanimity. He lacked that virtue a fair bit in his own life, and he has had his moments of contributing to the bad spirits of climbing, but he has tried to develop magnanimity in later years. I'm tired and sick right now, can't sleep, up late, so probably not much of what I just said will be cohesive if it makes sense in the discussion at all...


Pat
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 25, 2007 - 03:05am PT
Pat,

Your reflections are well said, and reflect great complexity if one were to ask me.



To the thread...

It's weird for me on the greater issue from this thread, that when I first learned that there were chiseled holds on el cap I was shocked. To the core.

The bastion of traditional ethics had chiseled holds.

Later too when I learned of Roland's Hole route, shock again.

But of the last 10 years, I don't think I've thought once of the travesty of chipping holds on the Nose.

The focal lense dictates the extent of the impact on the perception. It both affects us in a 'real world' sense. It makes tangible the notion that one can set a precedent for history to review. It also does not affect us in that we have a counter-memory an anti-history, a thing called the future. To look forward to it one must not be too antiquarian.

To be cliche a bit: balance

documentary sense of history for the past, magnanimity (if i can borrow that term) in the present, and a monumental sense of history for the future.

It's 12:05am PDT and sometimes the late night is good for writing. Sometimes it is not. Thoughts?
snyd

Boulder climber
Asheville, NC
May 25, 2007 - 03:25am PT
Yo! DK!
Doing well. I called and left a message the other day. Hope you are well too. I'm right in the middle of the greatest comeback since George "The Preacherman" Foreman!
Planning a trip out west to see all you guys this fall once I spend the summer sweating up the classics here in KY.
quasitrad

Trad climber
Corvallis, OR
May 25, 2007 - 03:32am PT
Thanks for your well-considered thoughts, Pat. I'm enjoying these posts as they highlight some interesting dilemmas.

I wholeheartedly agree that first ascents need to be represented honestly for historical accuracy. I also reject the notion of chipping the rock to facilitate an ascent (though it’s okay to yank off a huge flake to make a route safer ...)

Anyway ...

I admit that some of my most memorable and cherished days include times when I fell and did not lower to a rest or pull the rope either because it wasn’t practical or I didn’t feel like it. By the standard of the period, I did not do the climb. Nevertheless, I felt that warm-and-fuzzy feeling of accomplishment when I topped out because I pushed my physical and mental limits.

Also, there are several climbs that I returned to with the sole purpose of climbing them clean so that I could honestly say that I “climbed it” by the accepted standard. But when I returned to the climb with this sole purpose I typically felt underwhelmed by the accomplishment.

I guess my point is that I recognize the purpose of standards and ethics insofaras one measures one’s accomplishments with one’s peers. At the same time, sometimes I cherish an imperfect ascent and I’m okay with that. Really.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Varied locales along the time and space continuum
May 25, 2007 - 03:37am PT
Yes, I believe there is something about the late night milieu that is good for writing.

Roger, Peter, jstan, John V., Werner, Pat et al.: Thank you for for such an eloquent, thoughtful, and provocative discussion. You are helping to deepen my perspective of this climbing world of which we are enamored in one way or another. I'm pleased just to be sitting around this campfire and listening.

Is this not the magnanimity of which Pat speaks?

Peace,
Fletch
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 25, 2007 - 04:06am PT
Man, now this is some history that doesn't come on the hang-tag when you by a cam.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 11:38am PT
Well written Pat.

Hope things are getting better for you.

Later, Bob


Peter wrote: John, you were a PhD physicist and in your post is the clear taint of lazy condescension. Many of the rest of us instead climbed as very hardworking outdoors professionals. We got our jobs based on our record; we wrote articles, books, and worked hard in talks and forums as notable figures in the art or sport. It was not a hobby as it clearly was for you. Many of us got very very far with it.


Peter...John was far from being lazy in any aspect of climbing.

He help change the way people climbed, he climbed... at the time some of the hardest routes in the world, he published "The Eastern Trade' and did numereous clean ups at the Gunks in the early 70's.

Clearly this was more than hobby for him!

John played a huge role in the history of climbing in the 70's and had a huge affect on many climbers...I know I was one of them!

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2007 - 11:56am PT
So we start on fashion and end with historical perspectives on ethics and personalities. That’s why style counts.

It really does get to the roots of what we do and what it means to spend so much effort on conquering such uselessness. Peter nearly went ballistic on John for what he took to be John’s too offhanded attitude about how important climbing is to climbers. Climbing, at least doing new routes, is heroic in the ancient sense of the word, and while we struggle to keep our heroes elevated—they are all so damn human when it seems to matter the most that they be heroic. Climbing style matters to those of us who put ourselves and our lives (not just life itself) on the line to try to figure it out.

Ray has always been a lightening rod. Kevin talks about Ray's public display of Christian belief, when ‘born again’ was not part of our vocabulary. He was not a very good climber in the way all of us around in the Valley at the time envisioned it. But he had a huge impact on raising the difficulty standards. And he had way too much hair. And he had a very limited fashion sense (see opening photo).

But what finally lives on is that Ray contributed a style of ‘working’ a route that changed the rules of how to learn to climb harder. If he had stuck to his story of ‘working’ a route until he had it wired and then leading and placing gear, none of us would have had a problem. On another thread, John Bachar talks about doing the same thing on “Bombs over Tokyo.” (This is not to draw John into this discussion, only to support my contention that this aspect of Ray’s climbing is not contentious.)

Ray’s hang-dogging really changed the rules of the game, but left intact the old notions of what constituted the best, pure styles. Not because he did it. It changed climbing, in my opinion, because guys like Ron Kauk and John Bachar did the second ascents of his routes in traditional style and developed a new level of understanding of what was possible. They then adopted the parts that made sense to them and pushed the standards impossibly high. (Again as an aside, in the middle 90s, Lynn Hill came to Cleveland to give a slide show of her ascent of the Nose. I was sitting in the audience with my two little tow-headed girls. I had not followed climbing in anyway since leaving the Valley in 1980, so it was all new to me. When she was describing rapping down the Nose to wire the cruxes, my first thought was Ray’s hang-dogging from 20 years before--he had changed climbing in an incredably possitive way.)

What lots of folks cannot get out of their craws is that Ray seemed to be less than truthful about his style. I think that this may be hard for younger climbers to fully grasp—I can hear a dismissive ‘Whatever!”—but it did matter. Truthfulness sustained the roots of everything that we were trying to achieve. For sure there were testy arguments about what was allowed and what was not, but everyone had to be truthful about what they had done. Look at how much press Michael Reardon got on his believability. It is still paramount.

By the time Ray was perfecting his hang-dogging style everyone else had accepted this glorified if not fully defined desire to climb only all-free in some notion of pure style: walk to the base, rope up, climb to the top, don’t touch the gear. Pat talks about hanging onto carabineers on easy sections and being chastised for it. That indicates how sensitive everyone was. As an aside, there was a sense in the early 70s that if you couldn’t do a route without trying it “too” many times, you should back off, count it as a failure, and let someone else give it a go. How ancient is that? Like studying some ancient religious cult that died out long ago. But, some of the posters on this thread did exactly that. Ray just kept after it.

The issues that some folks seem to have with Ray’s Friends seems a little misplaced in my opinion. I remember folks complaining that Ray would not share his new toys, would not even let folks look at them. Kevin talks about Ray needing lots of iterations to work out the details. Well, yeah! That is how things like this work. Someone gets a good basic idea and then spends lots of time and money working out how to get the really good idea to really work. The fact that it came from someone else's initial spark is irrelevant. All the real work is in getting it to actually work. So, I don’t think you can fault anyone for that. Most folks give up on good ideas after they fail for one reason or another for a 100 times in a row. Ray kept at it.

The negative legacy that Ray left was chipping the Nose. I am sure that Ray cannot claim his place amongst his generation of climbers for this reason. He cannot take it back and lots of us can never forget. Some will never forgive. I am no apologist, but Ray’s chipping is born of an arrogance and greed that seems to be all too common amongst the very best climbers of a generation. To one degree or another there seems to be a point where a climber has to decide where to draw a line of communal ethical standards. If it is some poor sod in over his head pounding in a bolt or pin to save his sorry ass, we all wish folks would just stay off routes they cannot handle. Then we try to repair the damage.

When it is someone climbing at the edge of our sport, someone defining the envelope, we expect razor sharp ethical behavior, but we accept a range of lapses. The sting of someone jumping someone’s ropes or stealing a project is lost in time. We don’t carp about further pin damage on routes and sometimes even ask hopefully if enough pin damage has been done to do the route with passive pro, or even more hopefully, can it go all-free? But we chastise Jim for creating holds in thin cracks, and Dale too. Many climbers never face these issues, so it is hard to grasp what the big deal is. But if a climber is working a new ascent at, or near, the edge, it is a constant question. When does ‘gardening’ end and route enhancement begin? When is a bolt justified and when should you just back off? How about I just enhance this hook placement so I can avoid a rivet and maintain the difficulty? Just because it is your new line, is it right that you use aid, when someone else might be able to do it all free? When is a little pin work to widen a crack okay? And finally when can you etch the route with manufactured holds?

The difficulty with sorting this out is that there is no clear line to be drawn. We are forgiving of ah hoc bad choices made under duress. But when the action is premeditated and is bad, the climber taking the action is saying something powerful about his or her place relative to all other climbers—“I am better. I am above the ‘rules’ because there are no rules for the level of climbing I am doing.” For those of us who have wanderer around on the envelope’s edge know better and take deep offense. There is always the requirement that free choices are made. And for a climber on that edge, the opportunities to define themselves, their time, and our sport should never be wasted on defining their capacity for arrogance or greed.

Roger
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 12:11pm PT
Roger...Jim Erickson said it best in the climbing film "On the Rocks"...I think he said something like this. Most great climbs have been done by some what dubious means.

Roger wrote: When it is someone climbing at the edge of our sport, someone defining the envelope, we expect razor sharp ethical behavior, but we accept a range of lapses.

Charles Barkley the great NBA player...I'm no role model!!

burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
May 25, 2007 - 12:15pm PT
Oli wrote: "Just a few random points. Ray didn't actually invent the Friend. Greg Lowe did, as I state in my history of free climbing. It was a bit of a theft, actually, a kind of stealing of an idea. The cutthroat businessman would call it jumping on an opportunity or something."

Not to be argumentative ... just eliciting further opinion ...

Pics of the old Lowe cams don't look anything like the friend, seems like Jardine took the idea of the cam (as did Metolius, BD, and everyone else did later) and turned it into a real nice piece of functional equipment. There was enough genius in its design to make it virtually unchanged to this day. What's wrong with that?

burp
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 25, 2007 - 12:23pm PT
Chiseling the traverse was lame. Chiseling "GEEK" along with a few pin jobs was lame. But they are are part of the human history of those routes and can actually be cool in their way when you get up there and share in it.

How much dammage was El Cap spared b/c of Ray's friends (and their offspring)?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2007 - 12:26pm PT
Hey Bob,

I know there are really good climbers who do not agree with this point, but I am more inclined to look at the actual history--I think Eric is right. Unfortunately.

It is slippery slope: I can say from personal experience that Ray, Jim, Tom Higgins, and I all cared deeply about climbing and climbing standards. Yet we each drew the line at different points.
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
When was the Lowe cam first conceived into a practical unit?

Charlie porter gave me his caming nut invention and me and Kauk used it on Tissack back in 70 whatever year that was. We were able to cut the pin count considerably because of that one cam nut.

Leap frogging cam nut with pin placements.

So Charlie porter had the cam nut also. Is he a cam nut thief for that too?

I gave the cam nut I think to Ken Yeager of the climbing museum.

Ken do you have it and a photo?
wildone

climber
Isolated in El Portal and loving it
May 25, 2007 - 12:49pm PT
What an incredible example of the value of this forum. I am blown away.
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 01:05pm PT
Where is Wheat thin chisel marks?

Are talking about the breaking some of the thin fragile edges that would have broken anyways while leading that pitch?

Heh? Peter Hann was part of the first ascent of Wheat Thin with Bridwell.

I watched them rappel and place the bolts that day on the Wheat Thin.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 25, 2007 - 01:26pm PT
For those who would like to see John Bachar's photo of the chipped Jardine Traverse on the Nose, see Bruce Morris's article in the 1982 American Alpine Journal:

http://www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO/pdfs/1982/41_morris_yosemite_aaj1982.pdf

Here is a screenshot (sorry, it's fairly large):

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
May 25, 2007 - 01:31pm PT
Thanks for posting that photo, since that PDF is 1.8 MB...
jstan

climber
May 25, 2007 - 01:44pm PT
If you take out what I may or may not have contributed I
would have to say this is the thoughtful honest summary of
an entire climbing era we all have known was possible.
That great day has come. We have gained the summit.

Being habitually unrealistic, it is my hope youngsters will
read this and will say to themselves, “So this is where I am
going. Eventually I will be like these people. Given this, how
should I now adjust what I am doing?” I closely observed
the kids at Ken's Yosemite cleanup. It is an incredibly good
crew. They want to learn. Much more than that. They are
positively hungry to learn.

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2007 - 03:19pm PT
Hey John,

When I read, “So this is where I am going. Eventually I will be like these people. Given this, how should I now adjust what I am doing?” I marvel at your ability to be all inclusive, allowing someone who may want to emulate 'these people' the same welcoming attitude as those who in reading all this can say with utter confidence that there is no way in hell they will grow up to be like us.

Heehe,

Buzz
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 25, 2007 - 03:31pm PT
A wonderful thread (started by Roger's whimsy) which probs deeply at what matters about climbing. It has kept me slightly interested in the SuperTopo Forum these days were nothing of substance seemed to be produced.

I have a perspective similar to what Peter went of about initially, climbing has never been "my life" like physics has been, it has always been a "hobby." Yet I believe that I did care deeply about the standard, and the ethics and the history (which wasn't history then, it was the scene then). Style mattered and style is not difficult to describe, at least not as difficult as "ethics" is. And style matters because it is a choice which can put considerable risk on the climber. This is something that did not escape me back then, or now.

In another thread on Arrowhead Arete we learn that the very talented Mark Powell broke his ankle and never returned to his previous level of climbing. That is a very concrete example of choosing to climb in a particular style and the consequence of not quite pulling it out, it ended a career, essentially. That sort of consequence can never be taken lightly, and especially when your whole existence is defined by the sport. While I was never in that category, I can totally relate to it.

The commitment to a particular style of climbing was something I picked up on very early, and accepted. If you can't pull the climb off in the style of the FA, or better, then you have no business doing the climb. Don't go up on El Cap if you are going to retreat and plug your descent full of bolts! (wasn't that in a Chouinard catalog somewhere?). That can be limiting, but it made me a better climber, which is not a statement about my technical capability.

When climbing becomes defined as merely the accomplishment of a level of difficulty, then we loose a lot. "Pushing" the limits of climbing is not necessarily the only ends, though the popularization, and the subsequent commercialization of climbing as a sport have changed many things over the years. As a sport, climbing must become safe and the risks then become failure to perform at a particular level rather than pulling climbs off in style, with commitment.

Just my view... but this all played out on the stage which was Yosemite Valley, as it did elsewhere. Only time will tell, we are still too close to be perceive what has enduring value and what was just a passing fad. But though we may care deeply about what that legacy will be, we are powerless now to shape it, for that time has passed and the deeds have been done. We can only go on now with our own memories and serve as examples, those who still are a part of the climbing community, to the people now writing the history after ours.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 25, 2007 - 04:43pm PT
"That can be limiting, but it made me a better climber, which is not a statement about my technical capability."

Bravo!
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 05:16pm PT
Roger...I don't agree with what Jardine did on the Nose...I just don't hate him for it!


John S is downplaying the important role that he played in the history of rock climbing. It would be safe to say that many great climbers (Henry Barber, John Bragg, Steve Wunsch, Charlie Fowler, Kevin Bein and others) were influenced by him and his style of climbing.

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2007 - 05:40pm PT
Hey, Bob,

I don't hate Ray for chipping the Nose. And, I think that what he taught everyone with his hang-dogging style is very important to acknowledge.

I do hate the arrogance, and the poison it has created at various times, that allowed that to happen, but as I stated up-thread there are lots of examples of that arrogance taking hold of really talented climbers. It is pretty clear that with more time, it all fades.

What I wish for is a way to have a reconciliation amongst those of us who all climbed during that time. It always pains me here on ST when Jim's name comes up and someone mentions his chipping. Jim was so much more than those lapses. I believe the same of Ray. Nobody’s perfect. Well……

But it is a very sensitive topic, as you can see by the vigor of some of these posts. There are always two or more sides to every story. And I know that it is still a sore point for Jim.

You know what I do hate, clashing color styles and short suit pants. Just to bring it back to the important stuff, you know.

Best, Roger

PS: You are right about John's influence. It was huge.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 25, 2007 - 06:01pm PT
Nearly my whole being is defined & sustained by climbing and my time, my day in the sun, my formative experience upon the anvil of stone and the requisite communal immersion is veritably passed, yet here we have some of the greats from a full generation prior to my own coming out and speaking, people such as Haan, Stannard, Ament, and they are speaking eloquently and incisively with a passion seemingly undiminished from that of their best and earliest years. This is so much more than the usual circular rabbel encountered in a typical bolt wars thread. It is proof that as the decades pass for those few who have invested and striven to accomplish great things, their opportunity to an examined life can really put out in words something approximating wisdom.


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 25, 2007 - 06:13pm PT
-and cheer up Roger,
I'm sure you can in a future thread sneek up once again and take a run at our rich supply of fashion oddities.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 06:45pm PT
Ed wrote: We can only go on now with our own memories and serve as examples, those who still are a part of the climbing community, to the people now writing the history after ours.

The great thing about threads like this is that those of us who were a part of the history can set the story straight.

Personal attacks do more to distort the facts than to set them straight.

For me...at this point in life I would much rather built bridges than burn them.

Roger...Check this out about Americans and lying.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0623/p15s01-lire.html

Later, Bob

Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 25, 2007 - 07:43pm PT
Werner, the Lowe prototypes of the Friend were not his earlier cams which began coming out in 1967. The Friend prototypes came in 1972. He actually shared his designs with Ray during an agreed confidential meeting. Ray decided not to keep the secret and took the ideas and went to work. Ray had been developing an archetypal Friend of his own and now found Lowe's ideas of immense help. Greg found it a bit strange when suddenly his ideas were produced for commercial sale. Lowe even had patented those ideas in 1975, prior to the Jardine release of Friends. Ray simply added his own retraction system. The resulting lawsuit brought by Lowe was settled out of court. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, but it seemed an interesting detail to it all. In the business world, I have learned, people do this kind of thing all the time. Soon after Pollack nuts came out, for example, other bigger companies produced their own versions, simple plagiarisms. This seems the acceptable thing nowadays. I don't understand it. By the way, if you want to talk about a true master climber, think of Greg Lowe. No one quite in his class, for years.

Pat
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 08:04pm PT
Pat wrote: By the way, if you want to talk about a true master climber, think of Greg Lowe. No one quite in his class, for years.


If you want to find a true master human being in the climbing world...John Gill might be a good place to start.

Pat..how are you feeling??
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 09:08pm PT
Thanks for the history of the "friends", Pat.

I heard about the controversial cam debacle between Lowe and Ray even back then.

itso, your logic is really poor.
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 10:33pm PT
After they compromised ....?

Like hangdoging is a sin?

It's only bad if I tell you I fired the "Rambling Rose" and later you hear It took me 10 years of hangdoging to do it.

And who really lead that pitch Kevin?

In the Meyers guide it says ...... hehehehe
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 11:05pm PT
Coltrane played his horn.

I push the button on my steering wheel and a melidious tone comes out of the front grill.

No one appreciates my nice horn music, they just flip me the bird.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2007 - 11:18pm PT
Hi Kevin,

I make a distinction between popularizing something and versus breaking an old mold and showing the benefits of a new way of doing something, even if no one follows you. Ray, in my opinion, could never have popularized hang-dogging because he never had the stature in the Valley. As you say, he was ridiculed for his style but the climbs were very hard and certainly Ron and John did not quibble with that.

But Ray was the first serious climber to embrace hang-dogging, get impressive results, and could not have cared less what the rest of us thought. I wasn't around when Ron started hang-dogging, but I can certainly believe that if Ron started doing it, everyone would have forgotten about how ridiculous Ray had seemed and started hanging with Ron.

Best, Roger
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 25, 2007 - 11:40pm PT
As to bringing hangdogging to the Valley or CA...what about Max and Mark.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 25, 2007 - 11:44pm PT
Werner, there isn't any logic to reporting the facts. How one wishes to interpret the facts is their own business, I suppose. Don't shoot the messenger, though. I just tell it like I knew it to be. It doesn't require too much reasoning. I probably could have left off the "theft" idea, though. Who cares? I just think people should keep promises, as Ray's to Greg, but then I'm sure I haven't always kept all of my own, so onward and better luck next time. It's a zoo, and we're all in it.

Kevin, wow, so good to hear your "voice" again. Tom Ruwitch and I put up Rain in the spring of 1967, specifically during the worst rainstorm of the spring. We had searched far and wide for a good cagoule, for climbing in the Valley, a cagoule that wouldn't leak and would stay warm in a downpour. The weather report was rain, and it came in torrents, so out we went to test the cagoules. I had seen that line, and we climbed it. On that blank headwall up above I placed a 1/4-inch bolt, and I was afraid even to hang on it, but it was not only raining but the torrential river down the Bastille was directly on top of me. It was the same as climbing up through a waterfall. After climbing the West Face of Sentinel and El Cap and some other things, I gave that cagoule to a coatless hobo when I rode the freight trains home. Anyway years later I saw you up there leading Rain. Such a different climb without water! I never play with anyone. I was telling you honestly to beware of that bolt and try to back it up, but you were in such strong control I realized I didn't have to worry. You really sailed up that beautifully, a real talent. The times I did the route free I always found nice little nut placements in obscure places.

Pat


WBraun

climber
May 25, 2007 - 11:49pm PT
Pat the poor logic part was not meant towards you but to the poster "itso" in this thread with his post above yours.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 26, 2007 - 12:07am PT
Coltrane played his horn and I loved it. I like to think I understand it a little more every time I hear it, but that could be a conceit.

I've come a long way in hangdogging, but the first time I watched Todd S do it circa '78 was nothing like the first time I heard 'Favorite Things!' dogging is more like pullups.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
May 26, 2007 - 12:15am PT
Oli's statement of the development of spring-loade cams is true, although Greg applied for the patent in 1972, and it was granted in '73, not '75.

But to the point of Ray's character:
I was there in '71 or '72 at my brother Mike's house in Gunnison, CO. Mike, Ray and I were Outward Bound instructors and therefore had something in common. Greg was over from Utah to work with Mike on the camming concept, which he'd been developing since 1967. Jardine had been invited to a spaghetti dinner, and Greg offerred to show him the current state of development of his new protection device for climbing, but first Ray had to sign a non-disclosure/non-compete agreement.

Ray was a quick engineering study and soon grasped the essentials of the constant-angle cam and spring-load concept. It was all-in-all a very convivial and exciting sharing among friends. This is why, several years later, when word began to leak out about Ray's secret devices, Greg sent the first of a string of registered letters to Jardine, seeking to come to some sort of agreement over his breach of faith. All the letters were refused, so it was that, finally, after Friends came out on the market and Mark Vallance began producing them under license from Ray, that Greg finally filed suit. To make a long story a little shorter, Mark, who is a stand-up guy, but had not been told the whole story by Ray, finally agreed to pay Greg a settlement for the use of the camming concept. Who needs an enema when you've got a friend like Ray?
WBraun

climber
May 26, 2007 - 01:15am PT
Jello

WOW !!!!!!
My Name Is Drew

Big Wall climber
Dogtown, LosAngeles, CA.
May 26, 2007 - 01:31am PT
.....what are those, headphones?



Ohhhhh, SIDEBURNS.

heh.
My Name Is Drew

Big Wall climber
Dogtown, LosAngeles, CA.
May 26, 2007 - 01:35am PT
Jaybro....
agreed. If I am able to nail down a time signature, melody, etc it just aint Jazz man.


...."smooth jazz". sanitized for your personal safety jazz more like (bronx cheer).
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 26, 2007 - 03:35am PT
That was a nice typo, Jeff, "who needs an enema when you have a friend like Ray..."

Sorry, Werner. I thought "itso" meant, "What you say being so...nevertheless"

I am not above saying something I need correcting on, but I usually get the essence or somewhere near...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 26, 2007 - 05:04am PT
Greg Lowe patented the "constant angle cam" in 1972/1973 [edit: applied for in 1973, granted in 1975; see eKat's post below], and we saw the "L.A.S. Cam Nut" in 1973 (I bought one and still have it).


The Needle Sports Cam Story

http://www.needlesports.com/nutsmuseum/camsstory.htm

says Greg's patent also mentioned having 2 opposed cams, but we never saw a product from L.A.S. which used this.

It seems to me that Ray wanted a better camming device. He knew the constant angle cam was good, but the L.A.S. cam nut was not stable. So he came up with the stable configuration of 2 opposed pairs of cams staggered on an axle with one side set wide and the other side set narrow. (At least I think this was Ray's innovation; if not then perhaps someone could correct me). Plus as Pat mentioned, Ray included the retraction system (trigger bar plus cables).
More Air

Big Wall climber
S.L.C.
May 26, 2007 - 09:55am PT
But wasn't it Greg who first came up with the idea of opposing cams?
jiimmy

Boulder climber
san diego
May 26, 2007 - 11:08am PT
A true visionary, one of the best to grace the rocks.
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
May 26, 2007 - 01:44pm PT
Though I'm too young to weigh in on some of this, I did have a couple of comments.

- I like the wording of the above: "Hangdoggin's not a sin, more of a compromise." That sums it up for me.

- I love Pat's saying: "It's all a zoo, and we're in it!" Classic.

- Though from what some posters are saying, Ray's ethics weren't top-notch, he definitely made an indelible contribution to the sport. And his lightweight backpacking ideas ARE top notch. I use many of his techniques for both backpacking trips and climbing expeditions. His ideas to move away from the over-engineered packs and boots, etc., have made it possible for me to backpack with my dad - hundreds of miles that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. Eccentric, but brilliant in his own way, at least in that arena.

I really enjoy hearing from all you guys on these old stories - that history and climbing tales are the reason I visit this forum time and time again. Thanks to Kevin, Jstan, Pat, Werner, Bachar, and ALL the older, more experienced climbers that post here despite the vitriol.

Sincerely,
Aaron Kutzer
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 26, 2007 - 03:16pm PT
Jello- you were there. Was a prototype present in the room after the disclosure form was signed that had a rigid stem and multi lobed transverse axle? It was several years between Ray's first working prototypes and the finished design that he sold to Wild Country. I am unsure where that final design had a patent connected to it, pre or post sale. I am not taking sides on this only seeking some clarity in motivation at the time. Did Greg ever consider direct competition to produce a parallel product or did the lawsuit settlement lay that all to rest?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2007 - 03:28pm PT
I spend a ton of time and money on patents, so I am interested in reading them. Does anyone have a citation or number for Greg's granted patent and any that Ray might have been granted?

I would also say that patents and patent law don't really touch on the issues that Jeff laid out. There is a huge gap between what seems right to most people and what patents can actually protect.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 26, 2007 - 04:58pm PT
This thread is a testament to the potential of this medium for history and community. I'm proud to "know" ya'll.

Ray is a unique guy in making transformative innovations in two separate activities (maybe more) His virtues and vices stem from the qualities that we often see from those who are willing to think and act "Outside the Box."

Now, to think and act "Outside the Box" you have go outside the culture and norms of the times. That can lead you on paths of darkness and light. Sometimes the jury is out for years on the results, and the fruits can be mixed. (Sport Climbing?)

It would be nice if the folks crazy enough to do something differently were wise enough to do so ethically and with perfect foresight, but alas, It doesn't often happen.

Yeah, Ray chiseled the Nose and that sucked. Our forefathers killed the Indians and stole their land. In both cases find ourselves using the spoils of other's sins. What to say?

There is an element of 'intent' that points more judgement at Ray for spoiling future possibilities, but the use of destructive pins and heads has seriously degraded most El Cap routes for future generations, and yet made free climbing possible on them. Wouldn't it be sweet if the Shield headwall had been left until cleaner gear made it possible without the results we see now? That's probably too much to ask.

We don't know what history, nor other climbers will do in following in our footsteps. Even something as pure as Bachar's publicized solos might have inspired numerous wannabes into dying unroped at the crags. It didn't happen though.

So Ray remains for me, a vivid human being with strengths and visions to admire, weaknesses to avoid, and who made progess and mistakes. Kind of like us all but with the amplification of energy and execution.

Peace

Karl
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 26, 2007 - 05:08pm PT
I see I was right about the patent date, Jeff, that it was approved in 1975, although it says it was filed in 1973, so you got that right. An interesting bit of equipment development history. How are you feeling, Jeff? I still can't reconcile the fact that one of the great climbers of all time has MS. Strange what we are sent, in the way of challenges, by whatever spirits govern this planet. It was so great to be able to give you a little hug at the Fowler reunion in Telluride. I've always thought the most of you and, as well, my hero Greg.

Did Greg ever tell you the story of Paul Hagan? I was bouldering a lot with Hagan, in the later 1960s, a phenomenally strong guy, who could do the easiest-looking two-finger pullup I'd ever seen. I was not as strong but a slightly better boulderer (because I had other kinds of strengths and lots more experience). He had done a lot of climbing with Greg, and went back to Utah now and then to climb with Greg. When he was with Greg, he'd say, "Pat Ament's a better boulderer than you." That would make Greg try a lot harder, because he'd heard of me and drew a little inspiration from word of my exploits. Then when with me Paul would say, "Greg's a better boulderer than you." That would make me try harder. Greg and I were very aware of each other but never had met. We were among the few seriously dedicated boulderers in those days, it was handful really. I had the advantage of being Gill's partner, so I had some immediate osmosis that on occasion levitated me. I mean Gill's presence and spirit could elevate one's spirit and consciousness. But I can say Greg, from a distance, was also my inspiration. Greg and I later of course got to know each other when he moved to the Boulder area, and we chuckled a lot about how Paul had played us off one another. It was Paul's private little game... I realize this is a bit off topic, but maybe not altogether. As climbers we are connected in ways that greatly bless our lives. As many criticisms as have been leveled at Ray, and many appropriately so, I imagine and am confident he too has touched many lives for the good. It seems people here are saying so, without denying the unethical approaches at times to climbing.

Pat
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 26, 2007 - 05:18pm PT
Very nice post, Karl. A generous perspective. If Ray were any one of our little brother, would we hate him for his imperfections? We might feel he was misguided at times, or too easy with himself to pretend he was actually doing those routes free, and we might be disgusted with the chiseling tactics, but we'd probably still care and be able to hone in on the good parts of his being, and do what we might to throw out a little help and advice, or kick him in the pants, but not disown him as a brother in the madness of our particular family. I really don't want this thread to deteriorate into simply a bashing forum. It would be pretty self-righteous. I'm appalled at some of the dumb things I've done in and out of climbing in younger wilder years... My student Christian Griffith, after serving an aprenticeship with me, a dedicated traditional climber, struck out on his own, rapping down, placing bolts, mastering sport climbing. I hated some of his approaches. They seemed disrespectful of the traditions within which he grew up. But his abilities shot out of the sky, and I never once ceased loving him.
pc

climber
East of Seattle
May 26, 2007 - 08:33pm PT
But the thong...
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 26, 2007 - 08:36pm PT
LOL...All you haters can thank your lucky stars that when Ray was up there chipping and hang dogging, and going for the toe hook around the lip, that he wasn't doing it in a thong!

It's so rediculous that it sounds like an Ouch! scenario!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 26, 2007 - 09:49pm PT
On the patent tangent, I understand that the double axle design of Camalots was intended to work around Jardine's patent even more so than to add any additional functionality.

So what goes around, comes around.

peace

karl
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
May 27, 2007 - 08:19pm PT
Kevin and Pat-

I'm actually doing very well, Not so much physically, although there is a little bit of light seeping into the tunnel in that regard, but mentally and spiritually I seem to be entering a very good space. It has taken me a few years to get the hang of being happy with greatly curtailed physical activity, but after much reflection on all the good experiences I've had and all the truly amazing people in my life, I really do feel blessed. Who else do you know who did nothing but play for fifty years? Adding regular meditation to my daily routine in the last six months has deepened and expanded that appreciation. I'm as fully engaged in life as ever, with too many projects to keep tabs on to worry much about some illness (I won't call it "my" illness, as I have little interest in owning it!). This forum, too, has come along at just the right time for me, allowing contact with my kind of folks, and lessenning the isolation that goes with a lot of time spent at the computer. Thanks for your kind words.

As far as my post regarding Ray goes, I just wanted to set the record straight. He did in fact steal the camming concept for use in Friends, after agreeing not to do so. A more honest man, Mark Vallance, did what he could to re-dress the balance, even though Ray had misled him, as well. I would never argue that Ray didn't do an excellent job of taking the idea and running with it. Seems to me the more honorable thing for him to have done would have been to develop the concept in conjunction with Lowe Alpine Systems, and we could have all been happy. As it is, I'm left with negative feelings about Ray, and I wish I didn't have those.

Certainly don't lose any sleep over it though...

Best to you both -Jeff

EDIT: by the way, Pat, that's a really funny story about you and Paul Hagan and Greg. I actually bouldered a bit with Paul when he came over here, too, in the 60's. He climbed the way you would expect a martial-arts expert to do: precisely, powerfully and with full committment.
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
May 27, 2007 - 11:57pm PT
well said Kevin, thanks.

It's interesting to read all the history and the opinions - many thanks for all who posted on this interesting thread.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 28, 2007 - 02:06am PT
It says a great deal that there are discussions of this kind on SuperTopo. Not only because the issue(s) get aired and perhaps a bit better understood, but also for the history and stories and perspectives.

I'm a modest climber, perhaps with much to be modest about (Wilde), and have been reasonably active since the 1970s. But my avocation is history, and I'd like to chip in. I'm afraid there's not much poetry in the following - perhaps another time. Climbing is about poetry, too.

I believe that climbing should always involve:
 Minimizing or eliminating impacts on the environment, both human and natural. "Environment" in the broadest sense.
 Being utterly honest with ourselves and others about what we've done, why, and how. This is essential in an activity rooted in trust.
 Challenge and, usually, risk.
 Remembering that others will come after us, and that we share.

Finding a balance between these? Well, there's the rub.

My personal preference is for on-sight clean ascents. (I don't always live up to it, and even 'sport' climb.) But that's only about style - it's important to me, but others may choose differently. As long as climbers live up to the precepts I mention, I don't really care. The whole point, if there is any, is that climbers should be as free as possible to do what they want. If someone aids Bishop's Terrace, it has transient (human) environmental effects - a lot of annoyed climbers, probably jeering. But that's all.

There is a tendency to see golden ages in the immediate past. We may admit to having lived at the end of a golden age, but never to actually have lived during one. As the song has it, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone". Perhaps some of that is showing.

I don't know if climbing has any meaning in terms of human history, and if so what that might be. It provides challenge, adventure, and risk in a natural setting, which seem fairly deeply rooted in human behaviour. The sociology of climbing parallels that of adolescent males, also deeply rooted. There's some educational value to it, and perhaps something about the evolution of technology. Whether there's more to it than that is beyond me.

The frontier is a fundamental concept (sometimes exaggerated) to post-contact U.S. and Canadian history, and has shaped much of our societies. But climbers are still in some ways behaving as though we're on a frontier. How often does someone on ST say, in effect: "I'm a climber, and because of that I should be able to do whatever I want whenever I want, and to hell with anyone who says otherwise." Frontier ethos + adolescent behaviour aren't always pretty. We're having some growing pains around that.

Humanity no longer has frontiers as it always had, until recently. Geographical frontiers, anyway. Climbing is in some ways a frontier activity, and has a certain frontier ethos - disputes about territory (climbers "poach" routes and peaks, squabble about names, etc), application and misuse of technology, lawlessness, tragedy of the commons, vigilance committees, and so on. Perhaps there are fewer frontiers available in climbing than there were, and we should be concerned about that. Still, we're wrestling with a transition away from that frontier ethos.

Some climbers use the word "develop" to refer to new routes. It betrays a certain mind set. I prefer the word "create", and not just because it's less likely to annoy land managers and environmentalists. It suggests a more thoughtful perspective.

From another angle, climbers have had a good ride over the last century or more, with fairly steady economic growth, improved equipment, techniques, and access, and so on. Whether for political, economic, or environmental reasons, or (more likely) a combination of them, that could easily come to an abrupt end. Gas at $10 a gallon would reshape the world, and climbing.

Has anyone ever considered carefully patching up the holds that were chopped in the Nose, to restore it? It may be a useful thought-experiment.

As for the picture of Ray on Separate Reality - well, my eyes still hurt. What could we all have been thinking?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 28, 2007 - 10:12am PT
"Crack Jumars"
That was the first reference I heard about Ray's ideas in 1971. No mention yet of raising free standards, but instead they were talked about as a faster way to "jumar" cracks like the Stovelegs, thus making the first one-day ascent of the Nose. Roger Briggs commented at the time that whereas he viewed such a one-day ascent (not yet accomplished) as an athletic challenge that needed high fitness and skill, Ray was thinking of it as a technological challenge.

Joe Herbst, in his beautifully-written foreward to Larry DeAngelo's Red Rock Odyssey, gives an amusing, nonjudgmental glimpse of what it was like climbing with Ray back when Friends were top secret.
http://www.verexpress.com/rro.shtml

I just returned from travels and read this wonderful thread straight through. Absolutely ST at its finest, all the way.
jstan

climber
May 28, 2007 - 11:01am PT
This borrows from another thread and is probably below
standard for inclusion here.

I have wondered how one might best elevate a life lived
below Chomolungma. Which is better? Just get it out of the
way and once and for all know you have stood on top? Or
always to live in its presence accepting it as it is? I am not
even sure which would be the more difficult to accomplish.

Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
May 28, 2007 - 07:03pm PT
Chris Schneider(sp) is that you? I don't know if you remember me...Michael Paul.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 28, 2007 - 10:53pm PT
Chiloe referenced the term "crack Jumar" for 1971 and Ray Jardine, but there is an earlier reference to that term.

The "Cam Story" website

http://www.needlesports.com/nutsmuseum/camsstory.htm

has the following photo and caption:


---

The Lowe Crack Jumar (photo by Greg Lowe) .

In 1967, in the United States, a clever designer contributed a solution to the problem of the parallel crack. The Crack Jumar, conceived by Greg Lowe, was one of the very first artificial protection gizmos using a spring to hold the device on each side of the crack. A primitive instrument, the Crack Jumar remained unique in its field. Greg Lowe and his brother Mike developed their research to consider a different structure, this time exploring the "cam concept".
---


And of course, as we know now, the fast way to do the Nose is to free climb the Stovelegs, not aid them. Actually, since the Stovelegs went free in 1968, this was probably common knowledge in 1971 as well.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 29, 2007 - 01:57am PT
Arg. Pat Ament, one of our most brilliant writers - produces something virtually unreadable because there are no paragraph breaks! I am struggling to read it, but can't. And I can actually read.

Pat! Edit your damn fine post and put some frickin' paragraphs in it so we can understand it, dammit.

Sheesh.

Great post.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 29, 2007 - 07:54am PT
Chiloe referenced the term "crack Jumar" for 1971 and Ray Jardine, but there is an earlier reference to that term.

Interesting. I first heard the term from Ray, in the context of doing NIAD. Being less imaginative than others, I couldn't picture how that would work.
snyd

Boulder climber
Asheville, NC
May 29, 2007 - 08:07am PT
watusi wrote: " Chris Schneider(sp) is that you? I don't know if you remember me...Michael Paul."

Yeah dude it's me Chris Snyder. How could I possibly forget you and all the killer times down in Josh back in the day?! How are you , brother? Hope that all is well and that you are still clambering around on the stone. I live in Kentucky right near the Red River Gorge and still manage to fall my way up routes now and again. Planning a Valley trip this fall. Hope to hook up with some of my old friends. Anyway, take care and drop me a line sometime.

zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
May 29, 2007 - 09:57am PT
Is that really the infamous Chris Slander?

Been a long time, dude.

I don't know if you remember me.

We used to hang out in The Valley.

You would drag me up something that was way over my limits, tell me i was doing a great job, and then slam me when we got in a crowd.

Yep, those were the good old days!
snyd

Boulder climber
Asheville, NC
May 29, 2007 - 10:07am PT
Yeah, that sounds about right. I guess that I have to add you to the list of people to make amends to during my 9th step.
I have a stack of character flaws that I have come to recognize over the years and sh#t talking is among the worst of them.
If I hurt your feelings I apologize. I hope this makes you feel better but I understand completely if it doesn't.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 29, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
hey chris,

you bruised the delicate flower of my feelings so many times it left me scarred for life.

but if you're serious about making amends, send me a c-note and some percs and we'll call it good.

your buddy,

the motherf*#king american legend

snyd

Boulder climber
Asheville, NC
May 29, 2007 - 12:47pm PT
It's in the mail f*#kstick.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 29, 2007 - 01:21pm PT
i can feel the love.....

burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
May 29, 2007 - 04:02pm PT
Jello wrote: "I would never argue that Ray didn't do an excellent job of taking the idea and running with it. Seems to me the more honorable thing for him to have done would have been to develop the concept in conjunction with Lowe Alpine Systems, and we could have all been happy. As it is, I'm left with negative feelings about Ray, and I wish I didn't have those."

This along with the pic of the Lowe cam above clarifies it all for me.

Jello, just curious ... how far along was the development of the Lowe cam when the Friend went commercial? Seems like there would have been a number of years for development.

Unfortunate that there wasn't a corroborative effort. So many great items we take for granted now, originally came from the Lowes. Hopefully the Lowes have been able to profit adequately from some of these innovations.

burp
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 30, 2007 - 12:18am PT
Sorry about my blocks of type. I just start typing. Are they really hard to read? One must simply be able to focus their eyes, I would think, but if you've had a little wine or something the eyes might jump up and down a bit and not be able to stay on track. Forgive me.
Jeff, I just realized you and I get to be guest speakers in a couple weeks at the big regional (or is it national?) gathering of rescue people, sheriffs and all, over your way. It will be good to see you there.
Pat
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
May 31, 2007 - 01:54am PT
Yeah, Pat, I'll see you in a few weeks. Do you need a place to stay?

Burp. As I remember it, Greg and Mike showed Ray various versions of the Crack Jumar and passive and spring-loaded cams. My point, though, is Ray agreed to a non-disclosure, non-compete agreement before being shown these concepts. That's why eventually, when Mark Vallance learned the whole story, a settlement was forthcoming.

On another note, Ray's later patent depended on Greg's constant-angle cam concept and referenced it. That concept is what allows cams to work so well, spring-loaded or passive. In essence the Jardine patent covers the trigger release which was foreshadowed by the cable retraction on Greg's 1967 crack jumar. All successful camming nuts are derivative of that concept. Opposing cam-lobes of various configurations were fully obvious and referenced in Greg's 1973 patent application, as well.

The 1973 Lowe spring-cams and split cams were so revolutionary and unacceptable to the mind-set of the day, that not many were sold. So work shifted to passive cams (Tri-Cams), as that seemed a safer commercial path. Jardine proved that to be wrong, and the rest (actually all of this) is history.

Incidentally, Greg drew the link-cam concept over two decades ago, so it's not as though he's been left behind in the concept he originated. Second and third generation Tri-Cams and "Fan Cams" are also decades-old projects, that await financial support for development.

-Cam-crackedJello
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 31, 2007 - 02:32am PT
Jeff, Roy West has me at his house, but it would be good to see you somewhere, maybe during the day or something.

Here's a little something I scribbled one day, that I came across. It's possible it applies, maybe...

Scattered rocks across a meadow bear resemblance to a city's ruin, a kingdom once engaged in robust trade, the politics of evil, rich and powerful, incestuous relationships that went the way of every world, leaving remnants of their structures, frameworks, skeletons of passageways, the shapes of scaffoldings, supports of houses, what remains of points of view. In stones of slopes the mouths and eyes of skulls are filled with bats and moths, the shock of their extinction, of its quickness, of their un-extraordinary passing. Faces petrified and stupefied. Their stillness calls to you a little bit to follow, life a time abandons in the interest of aloneness.
Afternoon is not responsible for anything but beauty, hair-like grasses blowing, poised and flowing, waves, like many currents running softly. Things the trees have lost and things they've left now call to one another, faint, surviving testimonies ululant and liminal. The silence echoes limb to limb.

Pat
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
May 31, 2007 - 02:44am PT
Beautiful, Pat. You are indeed a good writer. That passage reminds me a little of Italo Calvino in INVISIBLE CITIES, a story where Marco Polo brings back to the Emperor stories of his travels and adventures. Perhaps when we visit a new boulderfield, it's an invisible city, never the same to two people. When we report back to the Emperor, he might not recognise that in fact we're describing the same place.

See you soon.

-Jeff
burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
May 31, 2007 - 04:41pm PT
Jello,

Thanks for the reply. Alot of good details there on the types of cams you folks were producing.

I definately get your point on the non-compete.


Curious about ... (I'll start a more appropriate post to the subject - "Lowe's Inventiveness" {sp?})...

Enjoy!

burp

steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
May 31, 2007 - 04:53pm PT
Nice prose above Pat... now we just need one of the gurus (Watusi or Raydog) to turn it into a piece of visual art...
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Jun 1, 2007 - 01:39pm PT
Fatty, I think you probably are referring to the Spring-cam, which only had one cam lobe and one stem and never should have been introduced to the market. Split Cams, with two lobes and two stems, are actually more stable and less prone to walking than any four cam units.

Ask Piton Ron.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 10, 2007 - 12:20am PT
[url="http://www.rayjardine.com/adventures/chronologies.shtml" target="new"]Ray's latests hits...[/url]
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 10, 2007 - 12:34pm PT
Invisible Cities is a gem Jello. Spreads your mind out nicely.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 28, 2008 - 12:28pm PT
This thread has some discussion and even some players who could slide right into the current SF Half Dome thread.
Amazing thread.
Bump for incredible coolness!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2008 - 04:51pm PT
I thought the SFHD thread was all about 'How they got the rope down there' and numerology. You mean it is really about Doug's and Sean's fashion sense?

Buzz
martygarrison

Trad climber
Modesto
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:56pm PT
I was climbing the nose with Lars Holbeck when we ran across Ray and his rope lacky on the day he chisled. He recognized both of us and was so proud and said "Lars check this out!". Lars and I were just quiet but it was so clear he had just used a hammer. I must admit, I ran into Ray at swan slab early in my career a few years earlier and had a great day climbing cracks with him. WB, I am curious about the Phoenix and Cringe comments. I never noticed anything on the Cringe, and Phoenix was always way too hard for me, but were there rumors of alterations on those routes as well?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Apr 28, 2008 - 06:41pm PT
We enjoy reading heroic tales from all the way back to ancient Greece. But what do those tales make us want to do? Go out and be heroes, of course. Hard to convince yourself you are that when the routes are all bolted up and spaced six inches apart. We need to leave stories for people. Perhaps more importantly, we also need to leave them room.

    I've only gone this far in the thread, but this bit from JStan is just about the best paragraph I've ever read on Supertopo.

--Edit. Just occurred to me that 2nd place probably belongs to some paragraph in Peter Haan's account of doing Basket Case.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Modesto
Apr 30, 2008 - 10:51pm PT
bump. I am still waiting on the clarification of the comment from Werner, "Take a good look at "Phoenix" and the "Cringe". What is the story here?
ß Î Ř T Ç H

climber
the ground up
Jan 13, 2009 - 02:03pm PT
Was the (FFA of) West Face chipped also ?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 13, 2009 - 03:47pm PT
I don't think so. I did it right after Ray and didn't notice anything. I've never heard of anything chipped on it.
drljefe

climber
Toostoned, AZ
Jan 13, 2009 - 06:41pm PT
Bumped, for studly to study
drljefe

climber
Toostoned, AZ
Jan 14, 2009 - 12:00am PT
Amazing thread(s)-had this shirt since '87
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 14, 2009 - 11:33am PT

ah! the legendary tee-shirt appears!!




drljefe

climber
Toostoned, AZ
Jan 14, 2009 - 11:56am PT
Ed- I'm sure you've gotten your share of Garcia comparisons over the years, but this one's just uncanny! The shoes even look like those Acopas I see you wearing.

That series of skelly pics is really cool.

'87 was the year I developed my love for the Dead and climbing,
this has always been my favorite shirt.
richross

Trad climber
gunks,ny
Jan 14, 2009 - 12:35pm PT
F'ueco

Boulder climber
San Jose, CA
Jan 14, 2009 - 12:58pm PT
Dang, wish I had seen this thread a long time ago...

What Jardine did to the Nose was immoral and just plain stupid. I seem to recall that his aim was to create a 5.11 route for the masses on El Cap (I might be wrong on the details, since this was form a magazine article years ago).

Surely, the mass-marketing of 'Friends' has saved plenty of cracks from getting pinned out? I realize that nuts, hexes, tricams and such were well established by the time Friends came around, but SLCDs do make protecting parallel cracks much easier.

As for the lightweight hiking. Ray in no way invented this. Plenty of us were out there with 10-pound packs before ever even hearing of Ray Jardine. What he did was to provide a reference for those who were already established, and a guide for those new to that method of hiking. When 'The PCT Hiker's Handbook' first came around, it quickly became my favorite book. I even contributed a small piece for the 2nd edition of his book (on my big pet peeve, which is horses being allowed in wilderness areas).

Fashion sense? Who needs that? Were white painters pants ever high fashion outside of the climbing community?
burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Jan 14, 2009 - 06:29pm PT
I miss Jrat!

burp
drljefe

climber
Toostoned, AZ
Jan 14, 2009 - 07:36pm PT
I miss JGar!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jan 14, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
The West Face of El Cap is not chipped (at least not where you might expect some chipping, on the first two face pitches), but there are pin scars in the arch, which where there in the 70s. The face climbing crux is an inobvious step down on the first pitch - have done that pitch twice - first time with Dale B. and later with Dwight Brooks - and neither Dale, Dwight or I noticed any doctored holds. Either way, this is a run up (like 11b) compared to the Nose and the others.

Martygarrison wrote: "Phoenix was always way too hard for me, but were there rumors of alterations on those routes (Cringe) as well?"

Originally, the Cringe had dirt and bushes in it but I'm not sure of any chipping when Ray cleaned it. If there is it'd have to be on the thin bit down low as all the rest is thin to wide mitts. The original controversy on the Cringe was breaking down the enduro pitch with sling belays in the middle - sort of strange, really, since IMO, Ray had done way harder climbing on Hang Dog Flyer and several other lines. Nothing harder than 10d on the Cringe, it's just a very long gasser. I remember doing this with Lynn Hill, who pulled perfect wide hands in the thin section before it curves left. She made it look like Double Cross out at Josh. I wasn't in good shape and thought my arms were going to explode at the end.

The bottom corner of Phoenix is basically a Bugaboo crack with a few tip locks pinned out. Once you stem and tip lock up a few body lengths, it opens up to fingers then jags right and then back up on bleak rattlers. Too bad Phoenix doesn't start off the ground, at a point ten or so feet before it traverses right. It'd be a classic 5.12 if so. The bottom, doctored part is shitty, and it gasses you for the upper crack because there's no good rest anywhere.

Sort of a trip to recall all this stuff. BTW, I was up on Phoenix with that uber-honed Pom, Ron Fawcett (we had to go back twice) and after our first attempt I was so dehydrated I drank from a tiny crik and got horrendously sick that night, up chucking for hours.

JL

karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:21pm PT
Bad ass thread bump.
tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Sep 21, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
Best thread drift ever.
Back to the OP then:

neck beard (check)
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Sep 21, 2010 - 10:40pm PT
How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?

How many pin heads can diss and spray about who is an angel?
delendaest

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:26pm PT
If anyone has good photos of the Jardine travesty it'd be much appreciated.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:35pm PT
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
Maybe this will work...
http://www.americanalpineclub.org/documents/pdf/aaj/1982/41_morris_yosemite_aaj1982.pdf
MisterE

Social climber
Cinderella Story, Outa Nowhere
Mar 21, 2011 - 02:52am PT
History, style, and innovation bump!
Barbarian

Trad climber
The great white north, eh?
Mar 25, 2011 - 03:08pm PT
Jardine or a Wow Really thread on page 1?


Bump!


Jardine!!!
Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
Mar 25, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
I would love to see a fisheye from this angle. You'd get the exposure and everything.
ß Î Ř T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Nov 30, 2012 - 12:49am PT
I went to alot of the services at the chapel in the early 80s. I remember Ray and his GF being there one Sunday. This was well after she got F-ed up on a BASE jump off El Cap. They were pretty somber, or say - really seeking God.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 30, 2012 - 01:40am PT
I visited Ray on his 46 ft sailboat when it was docked on San Diego Bay in the early/mid 80's (was invited over for dinner)! Talk was mainly centered around sailing. Him, a mutual friend and myself, and I was the n00b sailor so I mainly listened. I brought up climbing a few times, he was working on a design for micro cams at the time. He felt very betrayed by a once good friend of his (that many here would know, btw) who worked for THE largest and most well known company in the climbing/outdoor industry at the time. Anyway, long story short, d00d ripped him off for the design (caught him red handed). The fact that the guy intentionally betrayed him, hurt him more than losing the specs.

edit: i don't think what RJ did on the Nose was/is any worse than what Bridwell did elsewhere, eg. 1st pitch of New Dimensions! And a lot more people use/have used that chipped hold (ugly scar) than the number of people that have used the Jardine Traverse. BTW, everytime I have done ND (except the first time) i have avoided using that hold.

Personally, I think both are LAME, not justifying either incident! But there seems to be a double standard at work HERE.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Nov 30, 2012 - 01:53am PT
what's the free solo count on SR these days? I count 4.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Nov 30, 2012 - 01:58am PT
Biotch, not that it matters, I think it's a memory correction.

It was Ray's, then wife, a hang gliding accident and she crashed into a building...
It was a tragic and incredibly sad accident that resulted in a serious head injury.
Her name escapes me at the moment........she was a good person.

edit Splitter...She was never the same...
She came back to work @ the deli for a tiny bit, but could not work correctly.. She could barely walk & her balance was off, which caused her to fall often.
I don't recall if she quit her job, or if the company laid her off .
Later....Ray divorced her and remarried.

Last time i saw Ray, it was 92 when i was working in T.M., He was hiking the PCT with his next wife and stopped by to say hi..

splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 30, 2012 - 01:59am PT
S.Leeper - "SR" -- Wolfgang did it without the heal hook/straight jammed it! ...wild!

edit: Nita - yes, that is true. Ray and his wife got into hang-gliding for a while. Torrey Pines (san diego) was a very popular spot for the sport at the time. It was a serious hang-glider accident. She was still recooperating when I last saw him (they were still married). Sad, indeed!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jan 27, 2014 - 03:33am PT
bump
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 27, 2014 - 01:40pm PT
But yeah John Hansen, to free the Nose you use the Jardine chiseled traverse to archive that status.

So by the purest definition, it still hasn't been done in good style.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 27, 2014 - 01:59pm PT
When a man with only shoes, walks up to the middle of the big stone and puts up a new route, onsight, then it will have been done free, in good style.
Until then, I will grovel away in my own way, and admire the stories of my heroes.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jan 27, 2014 - 04:11pm PT

Is Ron Kauk(21/22 years old at the time)the belayer?

Edit: Bill Critchlow is the belayer.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jan 27, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jan 27, 2014 - 04:17pm PT
Gimp

Trad climber
Missoula, MT & "Pourland", OR
Jan 27, 2014 - 05:31pm PT
not sure it this link has been posted but interesting.

http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 27, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
^^^Yeah, check out his website. That dude just keeps on going. He has done a huge number of adventures since he left climbing.

His write-ups are pretty good.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 27, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
Bought some gear from his daughter in Berkeley?

She said he was now into thru-running.

Yes there was a friend in the gear batch, yes it was a proto...

Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 27, 2014 - 07:03pm PT
Nita - Ray's first wife who had the hang-gliding accident in San Diego was named Linda.

I did not know Ray well, but climbed with him off and on. Toward me, someone he was not trying to impress or compete with, he was a nice guy. Smart, a bit introspective.

I'm not sure about all the talk about him being a clumsy or poor climber who just tried hard. At least in the mid-70s when I saw him, he was as strong as a bear and was pretty good at using that strength.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 27, 2014 - 07:51pm PT
This was and is a top-ten all-time thread IMO. Especially thoughtful commentary by Roger, jstan, Peter, John Vawter, Warbler, Jello, Karl and others. Even Werner was at his thoughtful best in this one. I didn't have a strong opinion of Ray one way or another before reading this thread. His alleged sins were worse than I knew. On the other hand, his creativity and success in other ventures after climbing, and, as Roger pointed out, his part in changing the direction of free climbing, makes him a particularly interesting character.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 28, 2014 - 04:57pm PT
Wow! What a thread. I just spent a couple hours reading it from the ground up. I am only left with inspiration after reading all of this. Cheers. I wish it was an easier thing to go check out the Jardine Traverse!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 28, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
Ditto
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Jan 28, 2014 - 09:43pm PT
Mike Bolte. ...,
First, I think she was Ray's second wife, and for some reason the name~ Linda doesn't sound right.... ..I could be wrong though, it was so long ago.....



Patrick...Maybe it's time to let it go..... . BTW....Dave is a honest, honorable, and wonderful guy....Some very personal stuff you posted up.......
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Edit:.... Hey Mike, yep, Susie....thanks .... Her head injury was Bad...It was a heavy time... i felt so very sad for her...
I remember exactly what she looked like, and I even remember my last conversation with her.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 28, 2014 - 11:12pm PT
Hi Nita -

now that you say it, she might have been Ray's second wife. And, you are right! I checked with Bill F. and it was *Susie* not Linda who worked at the Deli and was in the hang-gliding accident. I can picture her face, memories are getting faded...
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 29, 2014 - 09:39am PT
Notes to self;
Don't ever chisel holds.
Jardine was coolest looking dude ever.
Stick with your loved ones in sickness...
Other climbers may be in the bushes with binoculars.
If you have a good idea, make it happen sooner.
Someone with a better idea is lurking around the corner.
The climbing community is always right.
What you accomplish matters, how you do it matters more.
When I grow old, try not to be a high minded a....
The guy on the middle cross name is Ray, the ones on each side may be Jim, Dale or Pat...not sure, but definitely not Peter.

In retrospect the three dudes who climbed the "Big One" in a day were actually the coolest looking ever.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 01:05pm PT
Nita said
Maybe it's time to let it go

Nita, am I alone in firmly believing that a high percentage of climbers are OCD? ;-)
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 29, 2014 - 01:51pm PT
Clinker nails it all. You can tell he actually read the whole thread, which is highly worthy.

One of THE Best All Time Threads!

Arne



Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 03:04pm PT
Patrick, I wasn't attacking you, just having a wee poke in the ribs. ;-)
You carry on, there's nothing wrong with sincerity.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 03:10pm PT
If the Jardine Traverse was at least well made, in a craft-like way, is it possible that it is a more climbing-like solution to getting up the Nose than the bolt-ladder higher up? I don't want to sanction chipping but......do I want to sanction bolt-ladders? Can anyone here report on what it is like and the difficulty?

I have seen the Dean Potter video of soloing the Nose and yarding on the bolt ladder. From the previous photo in this thread, it looks like it may be hard to yard on the Traverse unless those bolts are so close together.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 03:24pm PT
Agreed, but let's now compare it to the bolt ladder and I'd really like to know about the moves.

The Traverse seems to be a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
Patrick, I was just trying to lighten things up, eh? I haven't perused this
so all I have to say about ridiculing somebody for being sincere is

"SOD OFF!"

For what it is worth I am anti-chisel although I give Michaelangelo a pass on that.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 03:57pm PT
This photo copied from Rollovers post. It doesn't look all that easy and I can see why somebody would rather do a bolt ladder. Might miss the good vibes of Boot Flake too!

Rollover, do you know who the climber is? Michaelangelo?

I always keep a sharp chisel in my kit.

Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Jan 29, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
Very cool thread. I'm a fan of the Ray Way website because I'm into the ultralight thing. And I always thought all of the old climbing pictures of Jardine were super cool.

As far as Separate Reality, I've always wondered what hold broke. Did this break create the hold that everyone now uses?

Regardless, it kills me that some of the old timers still bad mouth Jardine thirty-plus years later. Yosemite Valley. For all that good climbing, there sure is a lot of bad blood. What a pity.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jan 29, 2014 - 06:14pm PT
McHale's Navy: Looks like Trey Anastasio's twin brother..
But it is in fact Ray Jardine in 1980.

Rankin: If you think there's bad blood in Yosemite Valley, go check out New England
and more specifically Connecticut.
Trad/bolt wars (read: Ken Nichols).
;)
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 06:37pm PT
I would just like to know more about the Traverse. I'm not trying to stir the pot - just want to know more about what we have. That traverse is up there and is a big alternate and it's historic and controversial. It seems like there could be a conversation about it. Apparently the Traverse gets used to free the Nose.....how bad can it be? Don't tell me I have to go up there and find out! ;>)

Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Jan 29, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
Rollover, I heard of Ken Nichols years ago. Pretty crazy shite, and dats for sure. :o

I was in the Valley for 6 months once. Love that place, and met some really cool people, but it did start to ache after a while. I never got used to the relatively harsh and competitive scene after growing up in the South. When it comes to California climbing, the East Side is more my speed. :)
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 29, 2014 - 07:36pm PT
McHale - the "Jardine Traverse" is 12a in the Nose Free topo
WBraun

climber
Jan 29, 2014 - 07:51pm PT
The chiseling was on the blank section from sickle to Dolt hole.

Chiseling was also from dolt hole to the Stovelegs.

The first hard move on the Jardine traverse was a huge chisel around a diorite knob to get a toe hold.

The whole Jardine traverse would never have gone without the chiseling.

Ray went ape sh!t up there to force the Nose free.

He was notorious for all kinds of shenanigans around the Valley climbs.

But we didn't hate him at all and got along with him fine.

We just said "Well that's how Ray is".

:-)

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 07:58pm PT
The whole Jardine traverse would never have gone without the chiseling.

Werner, you mean part of it would? I had no idea of the chiseled traverses lower down. Wow.
WBraun

climber
Jan 29, 2014 - 08:02pm PT
Bachar did a write up somewhere documenting all the chiseling Ray did on the Nose.

John was pretty upset about it.

When Kauk and I did the the Nose film we saw all the chiseling marks as Kauk was probably the very first to cross all the Jardine chiseling areas up there ....
WBraun

climber
Jan 29, 2014 - 08:08pm PT
There's the Dales Pin job climb.

Funnier than sh!t!

Ray finds this thin crack with no finger locks and gets Dale as a partner to try and do the FA.

They fail.

Bachar comes and tries and fails.

I jokingly say "Won't go unless you pin it out."

Lol Ray and Dale pin it out Hahaha

Bachar flips and calls it "Dales Pin Job"

To funny .......
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 09:51pm PT
re. the Jardine Traverse, the main one. We have done this before here.

Here is a closeup of the bolt layout on the small section:

give me a minute and I will post Bachar's photo from the right side.


Werner is avoiding our full story of the rage focused on Ray Jardine and how it kept building. Naturally; after all it has been many decades now. But quite a few of us joined Bachar in this fury; I think I for one had an early start and loathed the man before the halfway point of the seventh decade of that century. I could read the sort of character he had set up shop to be amongst us. His covert presumptions. Let's not forget how he hid his "Friends" cams (how ironic) his oh-so secret trick/inventions in his shirt on routes for many years, got his partners to swear to secrecy as well, even hanging off of them without telling. It goes on and on.
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Shhh. Kennedy and Kruk are gonna hear about this traverse. If they do, watch out. Bolts will be chopped, chiseled holds ground and polished back to original impossibility.

After 30? years there is no smoking gun left to find in the Valley, just a smoking duck.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
I see the chiseled holds in the incipient seam but It's hard to tell what else has been cut. Anyway, this is interesting and thanks for the info. It looks fairly rad, though, and without too many bolts.
WBraun

climber
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
Ray denied chiseling on the Nose.

But his belay partner confirmed him doing it all ... LOL

Why would he deny?
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:33pm PT
Truth and reconciliation? Haha! What a trip having characters like that in our midst. Haha!

Anyway, the section is relatively short it seems. Man, it would have been hard to not do what he did.........I can see why he didn't ask. ;>) It's so close you could spit a mellon seed across there.

Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:39pm PT
Just looked this up again yesterday..
Coincidence?
Look at Ray's partner.
RIP Mark Hesse

There are other partners of Ray's listed on his website
who frequent the Taco.

Pat Ament, Werner Braun, Jim Donini, Larry Hamilton, Rik Reider,
Mark Chapman, Rick Sylvester and Dan McClure to name just a few.

Ray definitely rubbed elbows with some Taco heavyweights.

Interesting history..
ß Î Ř T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:43pm PT
Wasn't there a better version of that Bachar photo on another thread?
It was totally obvious - the chipping stood out more.
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:46pm PT
Possessed chisel. The chisel made me do it.
What is he story on epoxy on holds? There is some in Yosemite and Castle Rock SP.
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de la Playa
Jan 29, 2014 - 10:51pm PT
Well Herr Braun, I know there is an answer coming. I'll be patient.

WBraun

climber
Jan 29, 2014 - 11:00pm PT
Phoenix pinned out too.

The finger locks are spaced perfectly .....
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 30, 2014 - 02:55am PT
Yosemite pinning / chiseling timeline

 5/1970 - New Dimensions - FA (with pendulum on p4) by Mark Klemens and Jim Bridwell.
People are divided on whether this has chipped holds (at cruxes of p1 and p4).
p1 chipped - Mark Chapman, "splitter"
p1 not chipped - John Bachar, le_bruce
p4 chipped - John Dill, Steve Grossman, Peter Haan
p4 not chipped - Mark Chapman, John Bachar, Kevin Worrall, le_bruce
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=832243&msg=833692#msg833692

 8/1970 - Gripper - FA by Jim Bridwell, Bruce Kumph and Mark Klemens
"... a ton of weirdly enhanced foot and hand holds in the crux above the roof which you pretty much don’t even need." - Peter Haan.
Also noted by Kevin Worrall.
Why chip there? Maybe because they were climbing in stiff RR boots at that time, so having a foothold made a big difference.
See the link above.

 1971 - Outer Limits - FA by Jim Bridwell and Jim Orey.
As I understand it, Bridwell sculpted a foothold on the traverse on p2. It's helpful but not really needed.
However, Bridwell also pinned out the horizontal crack on the p2 traverse, which makes a big difference. [see post below by Peter Haan]

 8/71 - Wheat Thin - FA by Peter Haan and Jim Bridwell.
People sometimes describe this as chipping.
But the flake had a very thin/fragile edge that was going to break anyway,
so Bridwell broke it on rappel and also placed the bolts on rappel,
as it would not have held up if people placed bongs in it.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-Birth-of-Wheat-Thin/t352n.html

 10/74 - Geek Towers Left (Freestone) - FA by Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk and Dale Bard.
As I've heard it, Bridwell used a piton to expand a flake (or enlarged it with repeated pin scarring - see Peter's post below) so his fingers would fit into the crack.

 4/9/77 - Phoenix - Ray Jardine finds it, cleans it, and works on it for 4 days (alternating days on Owl Roof).
 4/29/77 - Phoenix led with 3 rests
 3 more days of work on Phoenix
 5/9/77 - led Phoenix free from upper belay - FA Ray Jardine
 5/13/77 - cleaned lower Phoenix (i.e. pin scarred it to create finger locks)
 5 days of work on "Phoenix II"
 5/20/77 - led "Phoenix II" free - FA Ray Jardine, John Lakey

 4/7/79 - Jardine and Bard check out Dale's World's Hardest (later known as Dale's Pin Job)
 4/13/79 - Jardine and Bard clean Dale's World's Hardest
As Werner noted, it was not pin scarred at this time.

 1/24/80 - Jardine starts working to free climb the Nose
 2/13/80 - Nose free to Sickle Ledge
 3/14/80 - Nose free to Stovelegs (with chiseling as noted by Werner)
 3/29/80 - Jardine investigated the new traverse
 4/8/80 - Jardine placed bolts on the traverse. 27 ropes fixed by this time (makes it feasible to go up with many different partners)
 4/26/80 - traverse free except for first move
 5/2/80 - freed traverse (chiseling of knob as Werner has described must have been done between 4/26 and 5/2)
 5/8/80 - freed to base of Great Roof, 38 ropes fixed at this point
 5/17/80 - freed pitch above Great Roof (Pancake Flake and thin crack above)
 5/20/80 - cleaned pitch above Camp 5 (later freed by Lynn Hill at 5.12d)
 5/26/80 - pulled all (42) ropes down.

The next climbing in Jardine's log was 11/80 at Mt. Woodson.
I can only guess that after all that work on the Nose, he saw how hard The Great Roof was,
and how hard the pitch above Camp 5 was, and knew there was more hard stuff to come.
Probably he realized there was already too much chiseling, and decided he had to stop.

Although he climbed some more at Mt. Woodson, then some days in England in 1982,
Ray Jardine basically quit climbing after the 1980 Nose project.
His climbing log shows one last day in Yosemite (1982) - climbing Lunatic Fringe with Jenny.
Then he was off doing a very wide variety of travel adventures (at sea, ultralight backpacking, etc.) with Jenny for many years.

5/85 - Ray's Pin Job (far upper right on Cookie) - FA by Kurt Smith and Dave Hatchett.
Jardine never touched this route. Apparently it was named that way as a protest of the pinning of the lower Phoenix.

12/86 - Dale's Pin Job (formerly Dale's World's Hardest) - FA by John Bachar.
Sometime between 4/79 and 12/86, someone pin scarred it. Possibly Dale Bard.

[updated 1/31]
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 30, 2014 - 03:46am PT
This last post makes it look like very little of the Jardine Traverse is actually chipped. Is it just that first knob?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 30, 2014 - 10:56am PT
Clint, to add: on the traverse on P2 of Outer Limits, Bridwell went up and pinned out the crack after failing to flash it on a FA attempt.

Also you forgot Gripper. On the flaring section above the chimney, Bridwell hammered in several highly obvious enhancements to knobs and edges prior to the FA. It turned out not to be necessary as the moves you actually do are somewhat stemming and more positive than they look and the path you take different than expected once you are moving through that section. Here the chiseling is just weird.

Owl roof the chockstone was installed.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Jan 30, 2014 - 02:12pm PT
I was not aware of Jardine's big attempt to free the Nose. That was ahead of it's time. Was he still hiding the cams at that point? I was thinking last night that it was the cams that gave him the impetus to try and free the Nose. Could it be that all of the covert activity before that was for the Nose itself?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jan 30, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
The climbing log on Jardine's site is really interesting. Cool to see the progression & some of the ascent notes are really interesting, you can see why he was shrouded in controversy to this day. Also interesting to note how often he repeated routes.

Seems that what Ray did in the mid-late 70's in terms of ascent tactics (approaching top down, working routes to death) is what is commonplace with at least 90% of all top climbers of today. I had no idea he was so influential.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Jan 30, 2014 - 03:19pm PT
How about New Dimensions?
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 30, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
So what is the difference between Jardine and Bridwell? It seems like politics. Jardine is a total.... and "Bridwell might have been heavy handed"???? Peter and Werner or others if you may explain this perception difference, please.
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Jan 30, 2014 - 03:29pm PT
Interesting thread.

a couple more ?'s

Is chipping OK:

Depending on who does it?
What time period it occurred?
Where it occurred?
Via other(aid) means of ascent?

I know there a couple rhetorical ?'s in there and I am mainly concerned with the first two..

Oh, and a bit more on topic..

An old employer gave me a sweet old poster of Jardine over the lip of a roof(I was told Rostrum) and he is placing a cam; he seems to be wearing about the same outfit he has on in the hangdog flyer pic. It has 'YOSEMITE' txt across the top. Cool pic but as mentioned above in another post critiquing his style, it looks like the rope is really tight, or hella tight...
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 30, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
In retrospect chipping is never OK, but obviously it happens.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Jan 30, 2014 - 04:44pm PT
Ryan D,


I had no idea he was so influential.


In another thread I was ask, I believe by you, who I thought influenced the Way we climb Today the Most. I submitted Ray Jardine for friends, hangdogging, repointing and whatever.

You submitted your ol' bud Hen B. as the man who most influenced the way we climb today. Is your statement above a confession to the cluelessness you had on this issue?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jan 30, 2014 - 04:48pm PT
Haha I think maybe you got me pegged Mr McGee. Wish I had read this first. What would climbing be like today if everyone shared tactics with Ray J BITD??
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Jan 30, 2014 - 04:57pm PT
RyanD,

you take the check-mating much better than did some WY boys over some point of Todd Skinners tactics.

Maybe Roger Bredlove could get a thread started of what really was the scene in the foreground with Skinner and Piana?

Simple: There is no need to chip when you outright lie.
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 30, 2014 - 05:26pm PT
Now that my bronze bust of Bridwell is in the attic with Barry Bonds, am I going to have to hide the others as well? I have a bronze Shipley. A silver plated Harding, Bates and Sorenson. A solid gold Higgins. A platinum Bacher and a diamond studded Werner. Also a talking John Long worth big $$ , mounted on a plaque. There are a few inductees waiting to be unpacked. I would rather know now.
Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
Jan 30, 2014 - 05:29pm PT
Clinker -- I've wondered that for years. The chipping on Outer Limits is very obvious and not even very artfully done. Yet Jardine was basically run out of the valley...
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Jan 30, 2014 - 05:34pm PT
I know intentions matter, but there are so many free climbs in Yosemite that use pin scars. It's just strange to me that such an obvious compromise in style is so tolerated while the vehemence against a chipper from 35 years ago is so strong.
clinker

Trad climber
California
Jan 30, 2014 - 05:53pm PT
I had a bronze life size statue of Kauk that was stolen. Mabye Ray stole it and has replaced his Buda with it.
Mike, the difference may be partners. Jardine's ratted him out early on. Bridwell's waited decades.
They are both scumbag hacks armed with hammers and chisels or so is the word on the street.
I don't agree. I hold them both in great esteem and admire their contribution to climbing.
Why not compare their looks and have a good laugh instead of this?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jan 30, 2014 - 11:54pm PT
Dingus, I still stand by my statement that HB had the most major influence on how the avg climber travels to climb today so I would say check, but not check mate :-) climbing is more than 2 teams black & white so I don't think check mate is the best term, but I readily admit that You were bang on about RJ & How top level climbers operate today based on his tactics BITD. It seems he was ahead of his time, maybe too far ahead! Did you ever meet or climb with him? Woulda been a trip to come up in a time shrouded with so much controversy over grades, standards, equipment, ethics. Wild stuff.

Looking at his ascent log again there is a lot of hilarious claims & different stories than what the "other" history books say. Really interesting.

bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 31, 2014 - 01:34am PT
Klaus, your honesty is refreshing and humbling. I've told my whoppers back in the day but gave it up decades ago, it's not worth it!
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Jan 31, 2014 - 02:13am PT
Fantastic thread, my second read through.
The historical recount(s) are precious, but really...
As the 'Central Scrutinizer' says:
"Who gives a f*#k any way?"

When we all climb solo, naked, no shoes, chalk or even a GoPro head cam...
Is your gardening worse than Joe's pinning. Is 'what's his face's' chipping worse than that old aid bolt protecting the free ascent?

I learned as a teenager through climbing, a lesson, that carries over to the rest of my life:
"Who gibes a f*#k what you do on the rock, that's your gig...
(another glacial period is going to wipe it all clean anyway)
it's what you say about it that night at the bar!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Granted the whole breach of faith thing...
As some one said up thread:
If you have a great idea move on it, because some one else will.

It's like salvage materials. if you saw it, grab it... it won't be there in the morning!

Hell! in my early teens, I invented (in my mind's eye) the 'winglet' prevalent on virtually all commercial air craft today.
For that matter in my teens, I invented (in my mind's eye) a cowled, venturi-ed, low velocity, full ducted fan, wind mill...
which today some corporation is calling their development of a technological break through.
What ever !
Nobody was going to come up with a spring loaded camming device eventually ?
Who you fooling?

I mean, sh#t some people can even reinvent the wheel and get credit for it!
You think I am fooling? Well sewing machines have been around for over a century.
(take it from me a second generation sail maker...)

Yet there's always the 'Ray-Way' <--- to that I say:

"who gives a f*#k any way?"

The question I ask these daze is not where we are going, or what's technological possible so much as...
How many people these days bother to do an all passive gear ascent just for posterity?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know I wax poetic.
Perhaps you'd rather I post 22 'selfie's of my latest Booboo?
No I ('Juan NoDinero') am not at a bar, spraying.
I am at home with a glass of cheap vodka in one hand...
with a chin up bar staring at me and the relative security of a computer monitor to hide behind ...
Wondering, just wondering... why?
Why can't I be so lucking as my friend who right now is house sitting
'Uncle Jimbo's house while the 'ole fart is down there ripping it up once again in Patagonia?
~~~~~~~~~~~~

I said it once before, I'll say it again:

"Not to say that it's all about BITD,
we have young people with great stuff to say.

New developments on crag's 'This and That'
and old farts like Doug acting like a brat.

Sorry DR, out of jest I had to throw that in,
because I actually hope you go out and do it again!"
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Jan 31, 2014 - 02:29am PT

I bet she would've out climbed most of us !
eagle

Trad climber
new paltz, ny
Feb 5, 2014 - 04:27pm PT
THE INVENTOR OF LIFE SAVING FRIENDS. I STILL HAVE A COULE OF THE ORIGINALS

GREAT TIMELY SHOT
hubcap

Big Wall climber
loveland co
Feb 9, 2014 - 03:57pm PT
A few thoughts;
I climbed with Ray in 1973 for a season. Ray was very methodical and cautious as a climber. Looking at the photo you can see how he protected the route. Lots of pro and he put them in legit no hanging off, any kind of tension or too much slack you would hear about it.

I never heard one word, NOT ONE, about religion. I never asked and he never said any thing about it.

About inventing something new; Ray was a space engineer, he told me he was working on climbing gear at work back then. If he was holding his ideas close to his vest I’m sure there were people ready to rip off his ideas.
Cams have been around for thousands of years, maybe not as climbing gear. Inventions aren’t thought of in a vacuum. The Wright brothers not only thought that they invented the first airplane (really a kite with a motor) but had invented the act of flying as well. Give me a break!

Sitting around a dinner table with friends talking about climbing gear and they want you to sign a release?
Are you serious!!!

Chipping on the Nose? PreNose it was using a LA or knife blade or pounding in a pin to make hold bigger. I know a few known climbers that were using these techniques, I guess Ray took the ball and ran with it. But to pick Ray out as the evil Ray Jardine makes me laugh. I see much more damage to climbing areas and the environment by everybody that got involved with the SELLING of the sport, than anything Ray ever did.
I think in 100 years nobody will look back to these days or care about them but there is a good chance they will still be hangdogging and using gear that look like Rays FRIENDS.
Rosamond

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 05:28pm PT
When thinking about the blood feud about the chopped traverse on the nose, or any other human climbing achievement, remember that, in a few thousand years, Jardine's silly little chisel job will have been worn down to unrecognizeability. Ray and his self important diddlings will be forgotten; his camming units, his climbs, his attempts at being an arctic kayaker, his "ultralight hiking" shenanigans. As will all of us. You only get a short little while on this planet.
The point is this; if you can look at yourself and truly believe that what you do now is worthwhile, truthful, and internally valuable, then you've won. I have a feeling that Jardine cannot feel that way about himself. And I can't wait for his chisel jobs to erode away. I am, however, glad he took his engineering education and developed cams.
WBraun

climber
Feb 11, 2014 - 05:50pm PT
According to Lowe, ... Ray ripped off the cam design from them.

But yeah .... caming devices revolutionized climbing protection so that most of us were able to stay alive ......

brett

climber
oregon
Feb 11, 2014 - 08:37pm PT
Cam cleats have been around the sailing world. It doesn't seem like too much of a leap to flip the cams around to push out instead.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 09:26pm PT
One of the aspects of "Friends" and the terrifically better later cam devices was their time had come.

We finally had gotten to the point in rock climbing where something with 20-30 moving and stationary parts belonged on our racks and cost $100, but immediately became present worldwide and was central equipment on everybody's racks.

As others are pointing out upthread, the idea is snoringly simple, adapted from other nearly identical devices that had been around for a very long time and even already devised specifically by climbers like Lowe. It was hardly something Jardine should be seen as a genius for. What he was doing which today still seems so awfully perverse was using them secretly for years for himself, not telling anybody but a couple of sheepish partners like Vern Clevenger, and holding out on the community with their hidden tricks. Not reporting with full integrity as Rebuffat has said, exactly what he was actually up to on some of these important ascents. It was a huge advantage against all other climbers; how smirking and shitty-assed we all thought when it came to light.

Then the chopping and meddling with crack size began; that was where he even exceeded Bridwell by leaps and bounds. It was as if he was ice climbing suddenly. And do note; none of us were happy with Bridwell's activities in this either. I had conversations with Bates and Kauk about this and we were disgusted but Jim was this close friend, kind of going feral on us. Eventually it did besmirch Bridwell's escutcheon, as they use to say. One only has to take a look today to see how that worked out for both Ray and Jim. Bridwell was telling us, though, what he was up to always and thought it was all about keeping ahead of the outsiders and bagging ascents that usually involved many of regular elite, all in the know on this crap and screw the outsiders of course unless they had bothered to become part of our group. It was like high school, as Frank Zappa would say. "Life is like high school with money".

The really interesting aspect is how the climbing conjecture now could include camping devices in our crazy-assed myth making and daring-do. Two decades earlier and they would have been laughed at like crackjacks were with fewer parts! Imagine what climbers at the beginning of the Golden Age would have seen in this pricey complex mechanical gizmo in comparison to their pitons and hammers. Bongs even were a big steep "out there", the damage to cracks wasn't obvious yet, and the less technology the better in all things back then. It was a Beat offshoot and knew itself to be.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 11, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Reading the words of Mr. Haan on this thread, I feel happy that I'm one of those that doesn't really give a sh#t what other people climb. I've never been comfortable approaching climbing as a competition; well, at least nothing more than a friendly competition. If someone had a better tool than me, and didn't want to share it, why would I care unless I felt the need to compete? I've said it before and I'll say it again. First ascents are overrated. I don't care what you climb, or when you climb it. And if you want you want to tie your self esteem up in getting there before the next guy, then don't be offended when he acts the same way.
john hansen

climber
Feb 11, 2014 - 10:24pm PT
Peter I respect you and what you are saying, but I think if you gave Harding et al a rack of modern cams before they did the Nose they would have used and understood them in a minute.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 10:30pm PT
Fine Rankin. I do understand.

But remember we are talking about Yosemite Valley here and Ray too, during the days, forty years ago, of the greatest issuance of new routes; the first professional and sponsored climbers; the beginning of the phenomenal growth in ratings to 5.14 from 5.10, and the general scramble for deepest experience. It was not a sport for us back then, not in the least. It was our entire lives and nothing mattered more. This is how and by whom some of the older climbs got done.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 10:33pm PT
Hansen, later on Warren would have, but not earlier. Most would have found them an offing joke, ludicrous. I would have.

Let's keep in mind how stupidly simplistic these new devices really were and basically still are. It did not take "time" to develop them. It took acceptance of a device that complicated and expensive and that removed from a Kelty pack or a climbing hammer. Cams happened not because they were, like, discovered, but because they were eventually accepted on the rack. Take a closer look at this concept.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 11:20pm PT
Yes Warbler. For sure. This fact keeps coming up here on ST.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 12, 2014 - 12:06am PT
I have found that the climbers who question the motives of those who do first ascents nearly always lack the experience of doing them themselves...

This.




This thread just keeps on giving. Great posts Peter H & Kevin, really cool to hear reflections of these distant times from those that were there in the midst of it. Thanks.
clinker

Trad climber
California
Feb 12, 2014 - 12:32am PT
Thanks for the explanation Peter. I agree there is nothing to compare to being on unclimbed rock with friends who play the game by the same rules.
Many first ascents are not at all what remains as an established route, if you weren't there, you will never know what it was in its raw virgin form. That is for the original party.

We started climbing in the nuts only era, after pins and before cams. It took years for me to completely trust cams, I still want a nut on all my anchors, even though I am a cam addict today.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 12, 2014 - 01:23am PT
On the first ascent of El Cap, a primary difficulty was that most of the 'cracks' were actually just shallow grooves that wouldn't hold a proper piton. It was barely possible to hammer drill in a knife blade far enough to hold body weight. The aid ratings were 6.7, 6.8, and 6.9. This is where Chouinard and Frost came up with the RURP. Can you free climb those grooves without putting fingers in the pin scars?

I went a few pitches up the Nose with Mike Borghoff in between the second and third ascents. Most of the knife blade pin scars were already broken out, and we had to use tied-off nested bugaboos or Leeper Z-pins.

A bit later I went up to Sickle with Chris Fredricks, using a lot of tied-off short Leepers.

I was obsessed with soloing the Nose and made several attempts during the 60s. My major challenge was rigging strong enough anchors at stances to trust for hauling. From the ethics of the period and mentored by RR, it was unthinkable to consider placing additional bolts to replace the shaky POS placed by the first ascent team. I could hardly believe the bomb-proof anchor bolts at each stance when returning to climb it in the 1980s.

Does anyone still carry knife blades, RURPs, Leepers, and tie-off loops on the Nose? I see little discussion about how many finger-locks and cam placements are in old pin scars. Each one of those holes was drilled by the slow hard work of many strong blows of a hammer on chromolly 4130 steel pins.


What would be the status of modern 'clean' and 'free' climbing in Yosemite if people went up and filled in all the pin scars and restored all the cracks to their 1950s status!? I am not advocating that idea, just thinking we need to better recognize how things have progressed in the past six decades of repeating those climbs.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 12, 2014 - 01:36am PT
As others are pointing out upthread, the idea is snoringly simple, adapted from other nearly identical devices that had been around for a very long time and even already devised specifically by climbers like Lowe. It was hardly something Jardine should be seen as a genius for.

I have to either disagree with this statement, or else admit that I am not a genius; so choose to do neither in the spirit of self-preservation.

However my big historical gear bag still contains an array of 1960s camming yacht hardware that I struggled unsuccessfully to adapt for rope climbing and/or rock anchors, before finding Jumars in a Sporthaus Shuster catalog.

I never met Jardine, but was shocked when first introduced to Friends in the 1970s, and have properly thanked the Lowes for their genius.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 12, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
Well, Sacherer got there first on freeing the East Buttress...Royal and I did the second free ascent, with Liz along using aid slings at a few points

As one of our first climbs together, Sacherer and I climbed The Slack mostly free and talked about freeing the first pitch...which he did the following year...The Sacherer Crackerer.
Royal and I did the second free ascent...some other well known heroes were along with us and couldn't follow it...so there's your measure about what we could do back then...

Sacherer and I made several ascents of the Moby Dick Bombay Chimney as training...we were just bottom feeders nibbling along the base of the wall by today's standards...Little John...La Cosita...Ahab...

Ament and I worked out on the start of the Slack Center route...but that's another story...

it was more than wild enough that Sacherer talked about freeing the stove legs cracks

at the time i am sure none of us imagined complete free ascents of El Cap routes, even in our wildest dreams


nah000

climber
canuckistan
Sep 20, 2014 - 07:45pm PT
don't know how i didn't see this before [or how i ended up on it now...]

but this thread, especially the beginning, has some of the strongest and most thought provoking dialogic writing i've seen on this site...

thanks to Roger Breedlove, Peter Haan, JStan and Oli, to name a few, for sharing some very well considered and articulated thoughts...
Sula

Trad climber
Pennsylvania
Nov 10, 2015 - 04:56pm PT
This thread deserves to be bumped every year or so.

Some truly interesting history here.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 10, 2015 - 09:02pm PT
Serious history lessons here . . . thanks to all.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jan 3, 2017 - 03:30pm PT
Bump!
or pictures of a young Survival#%^V
More history where the pictures are from:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2824064&tn=80
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jan 3, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
Bump with a very insightful passage from Pat Ament early in the thread:
My parents had tons of integrity but mistakenly assumed I would naturally follow along. So there was, as I remember it, little instruction in that area, a serious oversight on their part. I had to develop integrity the hard way, and I did -- with the help of many examples, and also with the long suffering and patience of my friends and for their not focusing on my stupid moments. The greatest of the climbers I knew were the most forgiving and good souled. It seemed always the lesser climbers who had the meanest hearts. Somehow my perception of this world is that a life is a progression, at best. Each of us starts somewhere and hopefully grows, hopefully learns, hopefully transcends pride, ego, dishonesty, and all the rest. Not one of us is perfect. We start out (using the analogy of a piano) playing Mary Had A Little Lamb. We make mistakes all over the keyboard. If we stay at it, we refine our technique, get better, do better. Some will always hold to the view they had of you when you were floundering to find the notes. That we are in a progression, or that life is the opportunity for such, I am convinced, and thus it often is better to worry about the mote in one's own eye rather than spend precious energy judging others. Sure judgments can be made, and accurately, but are they helpful and constructive to the person to whom they are given, or are they extensions of our own sense of greatness, our own sense of elitism? I've gotten caught up in this bad kind of judgment and criticism. And of course some won't grow, or won't visibly grow, with any amount of help, and some will go the other way, and that's always sad. They might be the people who least need our condescensions, in view of possibly sending them deeper the wrong way. Who knows?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 21, 2018 - 07:03pm PT
best bump
MassiveD

Trad climber
Feb 17, 2019 - 03:42pm PT
The dark history of the Valley. In the 70s I bought into the hype. Sad to see there is a story of rock rape associated with most of the climbs that were hailed as exercises in purism. Funny to go to some parks and see signs about what will get you a twenty year sentence, yet in the Valley they are still wailing away on the rock like they have hard rock mining permits.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 17, 2019 - 05:29pm PT
If you look at all the human waste, the money, the commercialism surrounding Everest climbing, we are fortunate that for the most part, the El Cap rock remains pristine. It is a testimony to Yosemite climbing ethics that for all the traffic on El Cap, it could be so much worse. Just the fact that Mr. Jardine would do a little chipping, and people care enough to talk about it this deeply, is a good thing.
i-b-goB

Social climber
Nutty
Feb 17, 2019 - 06:25pm PT
Bump, clarifying separate realities!
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