The fashionable Ray Jardine on Separate Reality


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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
Jan 30, 2014 - 04:57pm PT

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.

Trad climber
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...

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.

Trad climber
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?

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.


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!

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!"

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

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

Trad climber
new paltz, ny
Feb 5, 2014 - 04:27pm PT


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 Iím sure there were people ready to rip off his ideas.
Cams have been around for thousands of years, maybe not as climbing gear. Inventions arenít 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.

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.

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 ......


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.

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

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.
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