Maysho... climbing flow chart - climbing history 'tree'


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Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 17, 2007 - 02:12am PT
"(I can provide a flow chart of our "tribe" if anyone is confused or cares)"

This is a crazy cool idea.

Timeline... maybe Oli can throw something together from his Wizards book...

show all the branches, how the community knows each other, who learned from who, who is related to whom, and who did repeats of certain climbs put up by other climbers.

meh, maybe near impossible to do.

cheers all,


Truckee, CA
Sep 17, 2007 - 04:00am PT
hmmm. For who learned from who - A lineage flow chart. I saw one in the math world, I can't remember the site, but my girlfriends brother could show his lineage back to a few steps from Euclid or something.

The historical branches will twine from trunks or nodes of location. Around our "campfire" we will see some great regional flows and blends of historical sources. A network map would look great.

This forum has all we need for a really thick interwoven web.
I will throw out a strand from the California perspective, but it won't be linear, always forward never straight.

Swole head alert...

The lineage I get to be apart of is pretty core- I had legends for mentors.

I was really lucky to move to the 900 block of Grizzly Peak blvd in Berkeley in 71

In the direct who taught who sort of way:

John Muir>William Colby>Francis Farquahr>***Jules Eichorn>Richard Leonard> a bunch of Berkeley RCS folks > to me in 72,

Note***Robert Underhill was like a techniqe virus that swept from New England to the Sierra to Berkeley in 1931.

I knew Dick Leonard cause we kept all the club goldlines at his house, and I only lived two blocks above on Grizzly Peak. I saw him every Sunday for a few years.

Returned the favor and led climbing classes, clinics and weekend Yos trips as the youngest ever Sierra Club outing leader

Then was taught free climbing technique by Chris Vandiver/Dale Bard/Mark Hudon/Max Jones

Another big thread of learning and psyche for so many >> Jim Bridwell always claimed Kor and Sachar as his mentors, as he was mine.

Werner shared his books with me, and we enjoyed some memorable rainy day conversations about the life of the spirit.

Any Yosemite guide has to give the nod to our forebear Theodore Solomons. Check out the photo of the SF ladies in dresses on the Lyle Glacier in the 1800's guided by the man. He homesteaded the land right next to Cashners place in Foresta.

A major branch also from Underhill>Norman Clyde>>??????>>Doug Robinson>Alan Bard >and he took me under his wing as an 18 year old at YMS.

All right then - Who taught who taught you..

post up


Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Sep 17, 2007 - 10:22am PT
One of the coolest things that ever came out of the old wreck.climbing forum was when a guy took everyone's inputs on who they met and climbed with from the forum and made a map out of it. It was pretty amazing.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Sep 17, 2007 - 11:01am PT
Surely Kevin Bacon will show up...somewhere.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 17, 2007 - 11:40am PT
I started with only John Muir's account of climbing 'Sunny Side Bench' to the lower falls, gleaned from the displays in the old LeConte building that housed a museum in the middle 60's.

We used a hemp rope found in my parent’s trunk, spliced in two places, and ran it through old ring angle pins and around trees as we climbed the regular route to the base of the falls. We met 'real' Sierra Club climbers with bright orange helmets, Goldline ropes, pitons, and carabiners. I was hooked. I had just turned 15.

I used to spend all my time at 'Monday Morning Slab.' At one point in my inauspicious career, I was chimneying up a tight squeeze on the right side of the slab. It was really hard to drag my body up the two layers of rock which was closer to horizontal than to vertical. As I was perfecting my technique, some climbers were rappelling down from 'Coonyard' or 'Patio Pinnacle' and asked, as they passed, if I had a match. The squeeze and angle and friction all allowed me to start searching my pockets--I smoked at the time--until one of the rappellers assured me that he was kidding. It took me another season to get the joke. That pitch is a 5.1c layback.

I visited the climbing areas in Berkeley on weekends and managed to get up some 5.8s in the Valley.

In 1968 or 69, Jim says that he met me at the base of El Cap while, in his kindly words, I was doing everything wrong in leading Little John. I do not remember, but it is probably willful repression. When I moved to the Valley in 1970, Jim asked me to stay at the new Search and Rescue site, thereby reducing the average talent in the pool but improving his karma by looking after the weak and misguided.

Jim and I took his windowless sedan with all of our stuff in Squaw Valley that fall, in a driving snow storm. We had similar interests in 'Life's Big Questions' and developed a close friendship. He had not yet fully become the Valley Impresario.

Over the next few years I spend the winters in Squaw Valley--Eric Beck, Kim Schmidt, Bev Johnson, Chris Jones also wintered in Squaw—-and climbed in Yosemite the rest of the year.

In the next few seasons, I learned to climb hard stuff, how to climb without pins (I still have lots of unused pins that were purchased before clean climbing started), and how to climb first ascents. It seemed natural enough given that everyone else was doing new routes. Although Jim and I rarely climbed together except when we grabbed one another for first ascents, I followed his lead on how to think about climbing: free versus aid, laying out new routes, being part of the community, respecting new climbers and visitors, etc.

I also had close ties back to the 60s climbers. Wayne Merry hired me to work at the Yosemite Guide School where TM also worked. Royal hired me to work at RockCraft along with lots of other 60s and 70s climbers. I hung out in Berkeley and became friends with Roper and Pratt and the climbing writing crowd. I learned to write and to drink better wine.

As a regular in Yosemite in the 70s, I met most of the climbers who showed up there. Sometimes we climbed together, sometimes we just became friends given the proximity of living in Camp 4, and sometimes it was just casual greetings when folks showed up. Pretty much everyone knew everyone else.

I never seriously climbed anywhere but Yosemite. I 'retired' in 1980 when I moved to Pittsburgh PA.


Truckee, CA
Sep 17, 2007 - 12:20pm PT
Awesome Roger! I have to run off to get some work done down here in Berkeley before catching a plane to the east coast. Maybe someone could transfer this to a new thread called "Your climbing lineage...who taught you..." I think the tradition of mentoring in our sport is one of the best parts.

"grasshopper, from whence did you come? I will teach you then you must pass it on."


Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Sep 17, 2007 - 04:37pm PT
Such a "lineage" would be fascinating, but so encyclopedic it likely would be unmanageable probably. It's not exactly as clean and clear as mother and father, in a real lineage, because so many of us were taught by so many separate individuals. I started off with Baker Armstrong and Dale Johnson, then Kor, then Rearick, then Robbins, then Gill, Pratt, etc. And all along the way there were significant influences, such as Higgins and Kamps, to name just a couple. I think I probably learned something from everyone with whom I climbed, even those to whom I was a mentor. So it would be difficult to exactly name where it began, probably, with the right sort of accuracy, or emphasis, since each of those people played a valued but different role. If someone has the energy, though, and time, what's to stop them from trying? Something might come of it, worth having. It might make more sense, however, to have each individual, or as many as are willing to take the time to participate, write their own brief history, as they see it. An actual climber's "Who's who" could start to develop and exist and be kept, for use and reference by anyone who might desire to search it.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 03:18am PT
inheritance bump

Jul 10, 2013 - 03:33am PT
Oh my gosh. Thanks Ed!

Really cool posts, when you think about how much info is shared in climbing & how much you can learn from others whom learned from others it's a pretty endless timeline & if you looked hard enough there would be a relation amongst almost all climbers who have been mentored outdoors amongst friends.

Really cool.
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