WHAT IS YOUR BEST CHONGO STORY

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pimp daddy wayne

climber
The Bat Caves
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 1, 2007 - 10:21am PT
Let it rip..............
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Sep 1, 2007 - 12:50pm PT
I read a draft of "the bible" in the bathroom at camp 4.
dirtbagger

Ice climber
Australia
Sep 1, 2007 - 12:57pm PT
Pud how long were you on the dunnies then? I still haven't read all 20 pages on crabs, let alone the whole 8cm thick book!

nature

climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 1, 2007 - 01:03pm PT
Early 1990's in JTree over New Years (91/92 maybe). A whole bunch of us had mushrooms. So we tossed them in a pot one night and made tea. We ended up with a gallon of high strength stuff and another gallon of diluted (for the ones that didn't contribute). Both were strong.

Well Chonga somehow gets the strong stuff and proceeds to guzzle. As there was more than enough that didn't bother anyone. He then proceeds to turn into a puddle sitting around the fire. It was classic Chongo in action - totally dimented. I don't think he got up from that spot until morning.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Sep 1, 2007 - 01:07pm PT
even 5 minutes in there seems like forever...
James

climber
A tent in the redwoods
Sep 1, 2007 - 02:47pm PT
Earlier this year, Drew and I were sitting at a random campfire outside Smith Rocks. There was more liquor than people, and a thirty-year old ex-DNC employee had been getting heavy with the spirits.

"You guys know Chongo?" He slurred. Drew and I nodded, poking the fire. I know Chuck pretty well and Drew had met him a couple dozen times.

"Well, I hang in the Valley a lot. I know Chongo." We let our eyes somersault. "Last year, when Chongo was still living in the Valley, he had a camp at the top of El Cap. The rangers found out about it, went up there and hunted him down. But you know what Chongo did?"

"Nope."

"Chongo outran the rangers. They chased him from Lurking Fear to the East Buttress. And Chongo, well Chongo was too fast for them. Outran the pickle-suited, ufo-hat wearing, green gestapo. Left those suckers in the dust."

"Unbelievable." I never knew Chuck was a track star.

elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Sep 1, 2007 - 09:07pm PT
well I dont believe that one... Chongo did live at the BASE of elcap for a while but it is difficult to believe that he would hike up to the top and stay there... the free food would have been too far away and the isolation is very unchongo like as he depended on friends who wouldnt have been found there...
that girl

Boulder climber
Sacramento, Ca
Sep 1, 2007 - 09:55pm PT
I love this thread already
K. Fosburg

Sport climber
park city, ut
Sep 1, 2007 - 09:56pm PT
Once a few years back in the valley Chongo was telling us stories about being down in Mexico. Apparently some of his business associates were way into huffing gas which Chongo assured them was not a good idea. "No, no", they replied, "you just have to try it". So Chongo relented and summed it up, "O.K., you're right, it's bitchin but I still dont think its a good idea."
Mimi

climber
Sep 1, 2007 - 10:13pm PT
Christian, you are wise to Chongo.

Edit: I mean Tom. Where is Christian by the way?
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Sep 1, 2007 - 10:32pm PT
any super-cool gritty Chongo pics out there?
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Sep 1, 2007 - 10:38pm PT
Chongo lived at my house in Joshua Tree many many many winters;....he probably has spent more time at my house than I have...(I go to work and go climbing/travel/visit, and he wouldn't leave the Gordon Ranch for weeks/months on end...year after year..). One season he did only one climb;.....Loose Lady......His hitch-hiking on El Cap is legendary , and he DOES have the record, I believe, for the longest time spent on the Steck -Salathe. He's unique in time and space.
nature

climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 2, 2007 - 12:23am PT
His hitch-hiking on El Cap is legendary

I gotta ask - which hitch-hike? Eagles Way? (back in around '95?).

If so I was on Lunar during a part of the time it happened. Hell, even if it ain't the one than it means there were more. Classic sh#t. We thought it was a major epic going on but the reality it was simply a chongo adventure. Those poor saps that caught up to him... Oh the pity. We could spy from Lunar Chongo in his hammock with a dozen or so boxes of wine littering his haul ensemble.

At one point YOSAR rolled to the base with bullhorn in hand and "shouted up" - "attention climbers on El Cap, do you need a rescue?" (twice). After the second time Floatin' Fred and I returned "No!, but we need more BEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeer!". (sorry about that, werner).

is there another hitch-hike story?
that girl

Boulder climber
Sacramento, Ca
Sep 2, 2007 - 12:41am PT
I laughed so hard just now when I read this......


"At one point YOSAR rolled to the base with bullhorn in hand and "shouted up" - "attention climbers on El Cap, do you need a rescue?""


Chongo and I have had many great adventures together over the last year and hes doing fantastic!
orange crush

Boulder climber
ca
Sep 2, 2007 - 02:48am PT
so a couple weeks ago I was watching top chef on tv with chongo and he got really frusterated when this guy howie didnt get sent home like he wanted him too.
sween345

climber
back east
Sep 2, 2007 - 12:48pm PT
So, a couple a months ago I was reading Alpinist, and come upon a story about Chongo. Seems he used to lead a late night lights out tour in Joshua Tree in the 80's, complete with a squeeze through point called the Cookie Oven(where you couldn't get through if you've had too many cookies). Great story.

Wish I could find the issue, but I'm not cleaning out the storage bin on a nice day like today!
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Sep 2, 2007 - 01:37pm PT
The first time I meet Chongo, he's in the Mountain Room, tucked into a corner, close to an electrical outlet. There are a few other people there, and one of them proceeds to read an excerpt from the Physics Book aloud. After about ten words, he stops, and says, "Does that make sense to you?" And then he reads the same ten words again, and asks, "What does that mean? That doesn't make any sense to me." And then he rereads the same passage again. And again. And again. And again.

He then tries to hand the book to me, but I politely decline to make sense of Chongo's metatheoretical physics.

Meanwhile, Chongo is typing like crazy into the laptop, explaining what the excerpt means, carrying on two or three different conversations with other people, hailing the waitress, drinking coffee, etc., etc., all at the same time. It was like some sort of street theater, or performance art.


The funniest story I heard was the one about the cops arresting him for taking too long to climb the Sea of Dreams, and then the judge dismissing the whole thing because the cops couldn't say, for sure, that the fixed ropes weren't pulled each night.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Sep 2, 2007 - 06:08pm PT
Now going way back, early 80's or so, I seem to recall through the haze of those days, that there were two brothers, the "Chongo Brothers", who were fixtures in Joshua Tree (usually in one of the back-loop campsites). You could always count on them for a stash or a good lead in any case. The current hero, *the* Chongo, came on the scene a bit later, and was reputedly a third brother? I never really understood the link...
elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Sep 2, 2007 - 06:55pm PT
I think it was in 95.. I was still teaching HS so I was in the valley in the summer.. I knew who Chongo was but we didnt hang out like we later did, managing the safety committee meetings. Anyway I was hiking the falls trail in the middle of the day to get toughened up a little before going on Zodiac... I was resting at the "gate" which is closed in winter and when conditions are bad... I looked up the trail and here came Chongo just coming down from some slacklining on the spire and carrying a large pack... he was limping along favoring his right leg and pulled up and sat down next to me... we exchanged pleasantries and I commented on his limp and he told me he was really struggling along with the pack and all... I gave him some water and, as I was not planning on going higher than I was on the trail, said that I would carry his pack down to the valley as I could use the exercise...so I took it from him and put my smaller one inside and headed down while he was to rest a bit longer. We met later and he got his pack.
10 years later I was sitting in the climbers corner in the cafe and chongo was holding court like he enjoyed doing. Everyone was having a good time laughing at his stories and comments in general... then he launched into the story of how he tricked some stupid guy into carrying his big pack down the Yosemite falls trail by faking a leg injury and limping along hoping for sympathy!! After the laughing died down I called over to him... "Hey Chongo, you SOB I was the guy you conned into carrying your pack down the trail!!" You can imagine the laughter that brought... I dont think anyone laughed harder than the two of us!!
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Sep 2, 2007 - 09:34pm PT
I recall 95-ish a bit as well. "Chongo Nation", with those hats he would stitch for people. Dozens were wearing them. It was funny. He was a little more active then, with the slacklining thing. Maybe 96 or so he was out there working on the contents of his book, crazy knots, etc. I'll never forget the gleen in his eyes describing the Sentinal thing. He was sitting there saying how all us speed climbers were totally missing it all, as he just sat there shaking his head, staring into space, recalling these two women he had dragged along for the adventure, the bivies, the stars. I think it was the climb of his life. I can't contemplate a bivy even today without recalling that conversation and the look in his eyes.

JLP
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