News about Mead Hargis

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Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Oct 1, 2007 - 01:12am PT
Before my time, but easily on the Legends list. Mead is hard.... all hail Mead!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 1, 2007 - 05:36am PT
Steve,

Thanks for scanning and posting that cool article by Mead. It is fun to see now that after the 5th paragraph, he was done torturing the reader with the 3 and even 4 syllable words and got back down to business with the stories! I bet he had a lot of fun throwing in those obstacles!

I had heard the story direct from Andy Embick, too, about going up with Roskelly and taking a long zipper/whipper on the 3rd. He said it was mostly 1/2" webbing tieoffs which broke, and the pieces of the tieoffs came floating down from above after Andy plunged.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 2, 2008 - 01:25am PT
Reflecting back on Mead and his place in the scheme of things as the calendar rolls over. I have been meaning to post this for awhile. It certainly clarifies in my mind why he chose to pursue a career with the Park Service. He had a lot on his mind. It appeared in the Feb 1974 Off Belay.





Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 4, 2008 - 12:00pm PT
Bump in memory....
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Jan 4, 2008 - 12:57pm PT
I said elsewhere that I would tell my Mead Hargis story and this is the place for it. This story is a bit, "one person removed" but if Mark/Blinny wants to chime in he can add the finishing touches.

Mark/Blinny, Bob Care and I were on the North Face of East Quarter Dome (V 5.9 A2 at the time.) We had decided that the best approach was not what the guidebook claimed (from Tenaya Canyon) but rather, from above walking past Half Dome and then down the 1/4-Dome gully. This was the site of the first epic. I stepped on a flat boulder the size of five surfboards and proceeded to ride a several ton granite wave for longer than I care to remember.

Once on the route things went well until the rain set in and we were swinging leads in a drizzle. Bob started up what is now a .10b flared chimney slot that was sufficiently lubricated. The slipping, swearing,struggle was both amusing and frightening to watch. Eventually the moist walls spat him out and he crunched down on his ankle producing a rapidly swelling joint. Decision time... rap seven pitches to rain-soaked slabs and cross-country walking through Tenaya Canyon or continue upward to a known descent past 1/2-dome? We pushed upward.

After topping out I took the pig while Mark helped Bob hobble down the trail. Did I mention it was now night. Had to be, right? Or else it does not qualify as epic! Being alone I scooted ahead using my night-vision until one of my dust-spreading footsteps produced a strange, yet distinct, rattling sound from somewhere nearby. I back-stepped rapidly until the weight of the pig landed me on my butt. Digging for a flashlight, I illuminated the vista with the dreaded belief an omnivorous rattler would be poised over me grinning at his catch. Alas, nothing appeared. Shutting off the light I was now completely blind in the dark. I had no choice but to turn it back on and use its narrow cone to illuminate the next few steps as I continued downward.

Mark and Bob struggled behind and I did not see them again until Happy Isles. But, and this is where Mead comes in (finally), they were having their own fun. They reached a point above Nevada Falls where a fairy tale tent cabin perched nearby. The smoke drifted from its chimney while lights flickered through the vinyl window. Knowing it would be a ranger cabin Mark and Bob sprint/dragged themselves over to it and pounded upon the door. The door creaked open and wonderful, odoriferous emotions poured forth. Mead and a lady friend were comfortably ensconced within; warmed by the blasting fire and happy as larks. But the coupe de grce was the food upon their table: huge servings of strawberry shortcake piled high with whipped creme and toped with fresh berries. Not sure if he should just drop Bob and enjoy the bounty before him, Mark instead elected to be loyal and ask if there was help available for Bob. Mead examined the foot and said he could get a burro up in the morning to bring him down. Disappointedly, but with renewed energy from the smell of fresh food, Mark and Bob exited the dessert haven and continued on down the trail.

I remember Mead well. He was a grand man who brought law upon the land while maintaining a climber's love-for-life attitude. The only thing I will never understand is why he and Yabo did the second ascent of the Garbage Wall (AKA Firefall Wall.) Why would ANYONE want to repeat that!?
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Jan 4, 2008 - 02:10pm PT

The Black Dyke, Squamish Chief
5.8 A4
FA 1970 Al Givler Mead Hargis
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 4, 2008 - 11:57pm PT
Aw, cmon now. You know that Firefall face has a certain special attraction. Warren did it. And left the chair for the next guy.


Great ranger cabin, shortcake epic!!
WBraun

climber
Jan 5, 2008 - 12:30am PT
Firefall wall second ascent was Yabo and Ranger Dan Dillinger.

Not Mead.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Jan 5, 2008 - 02:45am PT
Sorry Werner, you are correct. I guess after all these years I just remember that Yabo did the route with a Ranger. Now that I see the name Dillinger it brings it back to me. Thanks for the correction.
survival

Big Wall climber
arlington, va
Jan 6, 2008 - 01:48am PT
I only met Mead a time or two and didn't get to know him at all, but I remember John Dill talking about him like he was near superhuman!
He climbed the NA and loved climbing and climbers.....good enough for me.
All my best to Mead and his family.
Bruce
WBraun

climber
Jan 6, 2008 - 01:55am PT
FYI

Mead was instrumental in making Camp 4 the way it is today.

Before Mead there were no real boundaries. He was responsible for reigning in the campground. Before Mead made the boundaries people bivied and camped everywhere back in the boulders.

He even lived in camp 4 for a while as the commandant while he was a ranger.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 6, 2008 - 12:42pm PT
Those were the days......Mead was the first climber/ranger that I can recall interacting with in the early seventies. He was kind of like an older brother in charge of the kids. Camp 4 was a great amoeboid of boundary stakes and the individual campsites were completely funky and homespun. The sites came together as climbers scavenged tables, coffins and the other various doodads necessary to a proper home on the range! Arizona Avenue, complete with the street sign, was my home away from home for several seasons. Up the draw, first boulders on the right heading into camp.

Mead came around to collect the camping fees every morning at about 8:30. Usually, the place was a ghost town with only newcomers and those too wasted for easy evacuation being forced to pay. Everybody else hung out for the sweep and came back to bed. If Mead saw you a couple of hours later there was never any friction or BS with respect to his position or authority. He simply did his job gracefully.

The offset to looking the other way while fee collecting was the ready help that the denizens of Camp 4 would provide in the event of a rescue. We were all willing to help out and repay the favor when somebody was in trouble. This graceful rapport between NPS and the climbers had everything to do with Mead and his way of conducting his business. He really cared about everyone involved and it showed. Yosar would be a very different outfit without Mead's groundwork.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 6, 2008 - 09:19pm PT
From Rob Barley's Squamish Commentary Mountain 64 Nov/Dec 1978.


The blackest of lines is obvious!!!

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 7, 2008 - 03:44pm PT

Now it's a rad free climb...

http://www.mattmaddaloni.com/Gallery%20folders/Black%20Dyke.htm

http://www.mattmaddaloni.com/Expeditions%20folders/Black%20Dyke%202002/Dyke%20article%20and%20pics.htm
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 7, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
Nice bender shot Clint!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 2, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
Bump for Kathy Green who probably knew Mead I bet.
Ferretlegger

Trad climber
san Jose, CA
Feb 2, 2008 - 09:54pm PT
Like many of those who stayed in Camp 4 in the 70's, I knew Mead by sight and reputation, but only casually to speak with. When he became the "Commandant" of Camp 4, they built a tent cabin and he and some woman (Tina? his wife? my memory fails me) were living there. One night my partner and I were sleeping about 20 yards from the cabin, and a climber and his female friend took up position only a few yards from the side of the cabin. The young man was desperately horney, and things started with humiliating pleas for sex. This went on for quite a while until he convinced her of his worth, eventually degenerating into disgusting slobbering noises, followed by long moans, panting, and thrashing noises. As time passed, they became so lost in passion that all sense of discretion had fled the scene. There were loud rhythmic thumping noises and gasping, followed by a lot of heavy grunting and exhortations to go "faster!faster!". This went on for quite a while, until Mead's wife opened the window of the tent cabin and stuck her head out, about 3 feet from the passionate couple and yelled in their ears at the top of her lungs "Damn it! I'm trying to sleep! Now either get off or go do it somewhere else!!!"

Given the circumstances, I thought she showed a lot of class.....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 2, 2008 - 10:02pm PT
No doubt! A bucketful of cold water would have been my choice at about the point of first sniveling!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 1, 2008 - 07:58pm PT
I recently scored a copy of Gordon Smaill's superb 1975 Squamish Chief Guide.


Gordy really liked the Black Dyke and had this to say about the route.


The section about one Bricks Shannon soloing the top of the only recently free climbed top part of the route route on "motor responses " in 1974 absolutely begs for a story!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 1, 2008 - 08:36pm PT
A route to the right of the Black Dyke was done in 1982, and is described as "one of the great climbs at Squamish" in the 2004 guidebook. One of the climbers was the late great Daryl Hatten. In a fine example of climber wit, and political incorrectness, they named their climb "Negro Lesbian".

All the climbs in that area are in the peregrine falcon closure zone each spring. B.C. Parks publishes a list of the climbs that are closed or partly closed, on its website and on notice boards. They had to get an exemption from their webmaster to post information about "Negro Lesbian" - such words aren't otherwise permitted on the government website, and were only allowed because it is a proper noun. (Linguistically speaking, that is.)

The Black Dyke is an unusual feature - Chasing Rainbows, on the Malamute, is also part of it.
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