Jan Ebeltof

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Messages 1 - 45 of total 45 in this topic
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Original Post - May 26, 2007 - 03:37pm PT
Jan Ebeltof was a friend I had.
He died of alcoholism a couple years ago-he couldn't fight the dragon and ended up being swallowed by it.
He was about 40 when I met him and I was about 18, with the maturity of a 12 year old. This was in 1977.
I learned to climb with an Austrian family; the Martes, who did the Salathe, guided by RR. They were a very proper family. I was in love with their daughter and was summarily sent packing, as they had bigger and better plans for her than I was ever going to offer.
So I hooked up with Jan, and a very different world started to open. Jan had been to the Valley and had dug camp 4 in the correct way: Many stories of dealing with drugs, climbing, characters and adventures.
Our first climbing trip was to Taylors Falls- the nursery by Minneapolis. The day started with a cup of his coffee that was 60% apricot brandy. I was drunk at 9:30 AM. I couldn't figure out if my figure eight was correct. But I said "Climbing " anyway--how many stories go like that?

The engine on his VW bus threw a rod on the way home and we abandoned it on the side of the road.
In between, he told me stories of climbs that immediately went to the top of my hit list: The Lost Arrow Spire-hike up and camp on the rim, with a party the night before- he told me the booze was flowing nicely that evening, when a Brit' took a coal out of the fire and tossed it- if you dropped the coal you had to take a swig- By the end of the night there were holes in everyone's tents and sleeping bags.
The Folly, The Good Book-he warned me about the off width at the top. And no kidding--what a lousy finish to a great route.
Story of getting laid by some new age woman- afterwards she asked if he smoked dope? He answered in the affirmative and she replied " I thought so, I noticed that my aura was down"
Endless stories, and suggestions of how to carry yourself in style. At 18 I ate it up.
He used to smoke a pipe- I can smell that tobacco still. One time I was at Devils Tower with Bart Cannon- we were going to do Walt Bailey and I smell that pipe from about 50 yards off, and start cursing about some goddamn odor coming from somewhere- and sure enough he and Scott Backes come down the trail after trying to do the Window, small world, great world.
Jan went and did the Shield sometime in the early 80's. He did a lot of Percodan on the bivvies if I remember correctly.
He was a Philosophy major at Berkeley or Stanford I think. Super smart but he wasn't cut out of the academic cloth.
He had real style.
I went on to school and he kept working at our local climbing shop. His drinking began to take its toll, and he drifted job to job until he moved back to Idaho to take care of his mom as she grew older.
I never saw him again
If you knew him share a story. I thought he was good people. In his own way he steered me in the right direction.
murf
TYeary

Mountain climber
Calif.
May 26, 2007 - 11:52pm PT
Very nice. A mentor comes full circle when the student becomes the teacher. I hope you have the chance to pay it forward in honor of your friend. You write about him with such reverance and a gentleness, that it makes me wish I'd known him as well. Thanks.
Tony
Barto

climber
Minneapolis, MN
May 27, 2007 - 12:46am PT
In 1978--or so--Jan sold me my first pair of climbing shoes: ful leather, Vibram-soled Shoenards (sp?). Built to last--and edge. He was soft-spoken, smoking that pipe, and wore round wire-rim glasses and enough hair to look like he belonged on a poster from the Filmore. I asked if maybe I shouldn't get EBs, like my friends. No. He thought the Chouinards would be better because he thought I might want "do some walls." Well, I fell off many a free climb because of those stiff buggers, but that was o.k. I eventually went and got some EBs, some Fires, some Sportivas, some 5.10s, etc.

But I kept the Shoenards in the closet--many closets--figuring he was right, I might some day climb a wall. Closest I got in the 70's was Devils Tower. Closest I got in the 80's was Astroman. Closest I got in the nineties was 80 feet off the dirt at Rifle. Then, though, came the new millenium! Last year, I climbed Moonlight Buttress--standing in my aiders in my Jan Ebeltoff Shoenards. How beautiful was that!

He was both good people and a prophet: he prepared me for my future thirty years out.
nature

climber
Flagstaff, AZ
May 27, 2007 - 12:52am PT
Do either of you have a photo you could share of Jan?
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 27, 2007 - 12:53am PT
That was truly one of the nicest stories I've ever read here, Bart. What a reminder of just how sweet the little details in our life can be!

I'm sorry for those of you who lost a friend. It's nice that you have stories to tell in his memorial thread that make it a mostly happy place to visit.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2007 - 11:12am PT
Jan climbed with a group of older guys from minneapolis: Tom Anderson, Craig Martinson, Scott Backes, Pat Padden. If anyone is in contact with them they might have some photos. I rarely climbed with a camera and that was a mistake.
murf
Anastasia

Trad climber
California
May 27, 2007 - 11:33am PT
Great story, thanks for keeping his memory alive and sharing it with us.
AF
prunes

climber
May 27, 2007 - 11:53am PT
In the early 80s I Hitchhiked to the Cities to vist Tommy Deuchtler. After 2 days on thr road and being dropped of on the West Bank the first person I seen was Jan. He took me to the 401 club for ice cold beer and then to Thrifty Dicks for whiskey. I haved shared the rope and cold beer with him and he is a great man.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2007 - 05:49pm PT
Tommy D's great quote was "I get physically ill unless i do one hard climb a day"
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2007 - 01:35am PT
Brian McKinley was doing ice with Jan one time. He got to the top of pitch and Jan was anchored off of two hummingbirds. Brian mentioned how the belay might fail- and Jan said "But it didn't"
ahh the 70's
murf
Tom Hanson

Trad climber
Castle Rock, CO
Apr 1, 2008 - 11:26am PT
Wow, I am saddened to hear about Jan's passing.
I remember Jan sitting behind the counter at Midwest Mountaineering, pipe in mouth, peering over his wired rim specs.
I had the opportunity to climb with him at Taylors Falls on a few occasions. He was so laid back and mellow and always a pleasure to be around.
Is Hobo-Dan actually Dan Grady?
Barto

climber
Minneapolis, MN
Apr 1, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Tom-

Hobo is on the road, so I'm answering for him: no. Two different guys.
SteveW

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Apr 1, 2008 - 12:15pm PT
Hobo
My condolences to you and all of Jan's friends.
It's good you can continue the teaching.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 1, 2008 - 12:27pm PT
Hobo,
Sorry to hear about your friend. I can almost picture him from BITD, but I'm not sure.
Almost all of us have an ol' crusty or two that helped us start our story. What a great thing it is.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 2, 2008 - 08:10pm PT
Hobo dan on the road. Family road trip. Visiting old college friends-Three teenage girls in Denver made for a different lifestyle then we are used to. We survived Carl's Bad Campground- and enjoyed the cave. one drip at a time all those formations!
Made it past all the skin bars in El Paso and now we are enjoying the view here in Tucson. Anyone who knows shaun callahan here in tuscon- tell him to answer his emails
There should be a much longer tribute to Ebeltof. I can still smell that tobacco.
murf
Wags

climber
Apr 27, 2008 - 11:15pm PT
Met Jan at Hickory "Heroin" Grove campground in Baraboo as Sandy & I were starting to hang with the remnants of the DLFA and climbing. It was the end of the 80's.

Three groups converged there, with ours being an enthusiastic bunch of new climbers. Also there, the Pres and x presidents of the DLFA and the Mpls old guys (who were younger than I am now). Jan was in the later with Al, Duane & Craig. I believe Jan or Tommy coined the affectionate moniker given to Al's son's friend, the Antiichrist. Between Hickory Grove (and owners Joanne and Bob Cooper), the hoard of Milwaukee muscle drunks regulars, Prunes Bechler, Tommy the Dutchman Duetchler, the Groths, Martinson, Pig Tits the Brush Hog Squealer and a host of other characters, memorable lines abounded.

You know the rules boys, there are no rules-Bob Cooper
I told them as#@&%es where to go, in plain English-Joanne Cooper
What Angus (Andy) need most is a swift kick in the ass-Jan
The best part about being an alcoholic is hangovers just arne't a problem-Dave G.
Jan smokes that sh#t smelling tobacco-Al
Al smokes that sh#t smelleng tobacco-Jan

Tommy and Jan had an amazing climbing vocabulary from reading all the classic climbing books. It was a great time to be a climber.




hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2008 - 10:52pm PT
More sad news. Craig Martinson has ALS and is now living in Phoenix. I only climbed with Craig once. For those who have no idea- Craig was a fabulous climber in the 1970's.
By rights he should have his own thread and I'm sure it will surface. My memory is of a very easy going fun guy to climb with.
I'll post this again.
Murf
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 13, 2008 - 01:41pm PT
hey there hobo_dan... say... the best honor you can do a friend, after he passes on, is to share his life with others...

thank you for sharing these stories....

also--as the climber you just mentioned (edit= CRAIG), what i was going to say is:

i am very sorry to hear this awful news that he has ALS... two of my cousins, in ohio, both great gals, and young moms with kids and loving husbands and a full life to still share, HAD this disease... one died after lingering to it, after a few short years... her sister then had it too, but got it in the brain area first, and she died within the year, and never knew what hit her (whereas her sis had it in the muscles first, and she say herself waste aways until she could not talk or eat)...

somehow, it was in there dad's side of the family....

i will earnestly pray for your friend, as so far they say there is no cure, but there are some ways that have made life better for folks... all in the experimental stage...

sadly, no one lives long enough to study this awful attack on the body....

please have some great time with your friend while you can..
god bless...
RMartinson

climber
Mar 14, 2009 - 01:30am PT
This is Ryan Martinson, the son of Craig Martinson..... I have memories of sitting in the viking bar listening to my father along with Tom Deutchler, Fred Becky, Jan Ebeltof, Dick Wildburger, amongst many others discussing their next great climbing adventure, or telling stories about climbing adventures of their past. Jan or Tom would always sit me up next to the bar and buy me a soda. I was around 7 or 8..... someone would always end up busting out a map to plot out new routes. I remember Jan always mumbling something under his breath and smoking on that pipe of his. I'll definitely miss him.
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Mar 14, 2009 - 02:44am PT
funny thing i also had a thought about jan abeltof today. In Mammoth Lakes Ca no less.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2009 - 09:08pm PT
Having a home brew and thinking of some friends.
Jan in an era of bare brick, raw wood and and a wilingness to roll a number and share it with anyone within reach
Here's to you buddy
Redwreck

Social climber
Echo Parque, Los Angeles, CA
Sep 2, 2009 - 09:56pm PT
Loving these stories, thanks for sharing them.
Looy

Social climber
Plaistow, NH
Sep 27, 2010 - 05:10pm PT
I worked with Jan at Midwest Mountaineering for five years from '78 to '82. He was a great, warm guy, and customers and his coworkers liked him. His partner (wife?), Sally, was a sex therapist. I spent a lot of time ice climbing with him at the brickyards in St. Paul, and at McCafferty's afterward. Had a great trip to Devil's Tower in his VW bus, driving overnight both ways. The alcohol's grip over the years was sad to observe. I can still smell his pipe -- Balkan Sobraine was his blend. And I pity the plants he drowned with the dregs from his mug of coffee and whisky. I recently ran across a photo of him. I'll scan it and put it up.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2010 - 08:35pm PT
looy I'd like to see a picture of Jan
I thought Sally was a real class act-I remember her station wagon -Midnite Blue I think was the name.
Jan told me this story about her daughter going with him to Salt Lake City (to ice climb?) and he was crashed at some low rent biker hang but the daughter was able to deal with it all no problem.
Sally told me that Jan proposed to her a couple times and she said no and that she proposed to him once and he said no-the human condition. Go figure.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Sep 27, 2010 - 10:51pm PT
Didn't know Dick Wildburger but i'm heading to vons in search of buffalo meat....rj
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 31, 2010 - 07:22pm PT
Bump on New Years Eve
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2011 - 09:34pm PT
I had a student of mine ask me if she remembered her from the beginning of the year- She was a new girl from the East coast, new city, new school and she didn't have a friend in the world. I remembered, and I asked her why she was asking?
She said "that was really hard"
But she surfaced, in her own way- part grace part desperation that only a teenager can possess. Six months later. As we talked she was surrounded by her friends-a really nice group of kids and in my opinion she had chosen well.
I told her to never forget it, so when she meets the next new kid she makes sure to welcome them.

In Minneapolis there was only one climbing store- and like a lot of provincial situations the society tended toward the exclusive- if you can imagine such a thing in the midwest concerning climbing of all things, but we all have a tendency to hoard, do we not?
A wheel was coming to town to give a slide show- might have been John Bragg talking about Patagonia? Been a long time but I remember (or at least I think I do) a terrible picture of someone holding up a leather boot with the remains of Toni Egger still in it.
I was on the outside looking in. Envious of the commeraderie and not quite sure how to get my foot in that door.
Jan was in the thick of it and he saw me, dragged me to the stores refridgerator, gave me a beer, and brought me in to a circle of a bunch of misfits, losers and characters that came to be my friends.
Funny how it all comes and goes
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2011 - 06:45pm PT
just another bump for an old friend I was thinking about today
A Jan quote " I'm in search of the perfect Onion Ring"
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Dec 21, 2011 - 06:59pm PT
Hobo, I like your style man. Just quietly revisiting your old friend from time to time.......

We all got us some demons.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
It's about that time again--appropriately with a little too much wine coursing through the veins and some late 70's Neil Young running round my head

..........Old enough now to change your name.......
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Mar 2, 2013 - 08:20pm PT
Nice dan-I very much would have liked to meet Jan.I can tell we would have hit it off.Sorry I didn't meet him.Proud bump.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
He does deserve it- He so embodied the climbing spirit of the 70's:
anti-establishment, out of control, but still hanging on to that wave, drugs are taking him over the falls, and damn it he had to leave.
Goodness sakes but how the times change

and now more Neil........"you got a thousand points of light for the homeless man.......
Keep on rocking in the free world
pjschlick

Social climber
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 5, 2014 - 10:44am PT
I knew Jan very well and climbed with him in our local place at Taylor's Falls. Yes, he always had a pipe and spoke almost in a mutter. He was laid back, and a really nice guy.

I am indebted to him for giving me his job at the University of Minnesota where he taught rock climbing as an elective class. He brought all his gear which the school had bought for him to Midwest Mountaineering and asked me if I wanted the job. Of course I took it!

Did you know Jan took tap dancing as a kid?! We took a folk dancing class at the University together, along with Sally and Pat. He had incredible feet!! It cracked us up when he told us his mom made him take tap dancing classes. I mean the guy had happy feet.

What I remember most about climbing with Jan was one sling, two biners, one rope, no back up, and we were off and climbing. Everything was simple with him. He exuded a quiet confidence, support and ... yes, I can still smell his pipe, see him slip a little something in his coffee at work, and push his curls away while he muttered. I am sorry he died of alcoholism. I wish I was more surprised.

Is Craig still alive? I see a post from his son, who was a baby when I left Minneapolis. So sorry to hear about A.L.S- horrible disease. I remember Craig and Cindy, and I knew Cindy before she married Craig. There were only about 4 of us women in the late 70's who climbed then. Later, a few more came into the picture. Craig and Cindy were like little darlings, both petite, pretty, good climbers- Other characters,Deutchler! Climbed with him too. The most literate renegade of the bunch. The most infectious giggle. Scaled the IDS building and was arrested before reaching the top- hilarious! He also helped me with my classes when they were big. God, he was funny! I still have his backpack up in my attic that he gave me after he went to the Dolomites. I can't remember if I traded anything for it. Thanks for the thread- I've enjoyed catching these nostalgic snippets- So sorry about Jan.. and possibly Craig.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 26, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
tapestry. Thanksgiving eve. Thanks to everyone who shared
Tap dancing and Jan seems like such a dis connect.
i love bumping this once or twice a year-it's like fishing you never know who will surface on the end of the line-sure makes it fun and it's nice thinking about old friends who've moved on
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 26, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
Thanks for bumping, first time read for me, it is a great thread, very moving. Never met your friend but I am thinking about Jan tonight, he was a good man.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 11, 2015 - 11:43am PT
'bout that time of year. I'm gonna sit on the deck and tip one back
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 22, 2015 - 01:06pm PT
Barto came up with an old photo: Photo by Al Gran

hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Nov 22, 2015 - 01:33pm PT
long time best bump
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2016 - 06:51pm PT
'bout that time
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2018 - 02:10pm PT
Let's have a round for these freaks and these soldiers
A round for these friends of mine

J. mitchell
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2019 - 04:44pm PT
last time for this as the carpet's getting rolled up
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 21, 2019 - 06:32pm PT
Just like the old days before I had a "handle" I used to start my reply with, This is Nita's man, Andy. I pulled my handle, Timid TopRope to be in solidarity with my friend Walleye who was responding to the unexplained in advance, heavy handedness of new rules enforcement .

Hobo Dan, Your stories and remembrances of your mentor is the very kind of thing that kept me coming back to Super Topo. I started an account due to so many old friends being on here and meeting a lot of new cool peeps at Facelift.

I didn't know Jan but I feel like I know a little bit about him and a little bit about you. Thanks for that and as they say in DMT land, cheers.

Andy Tomaselli
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2019 - 06:59pm PT
All the best Andy--maybe we'll see you on trail
Dan Murphy
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
May 21, 2019 - 09:44pm PT
This thread is a great example of what makes this Forum great.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 21, 2019 - 10:41pm PT
hey there, say, hobo_dan... thank you for sharing this story, dear to your heart...
Messages 1 - 45 of total 45 in this topic
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