Gaston Rebuffat Travels Beyond the Solar System

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O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 25, 2008 - 06:53pm PT
When I began climbing at age fourteen, my sports heroes were not the football, basketball, or baseball stars of the day, but rather, men like Gaston Rebuffat, Lionel Terray, and the ultimate rock star (of my day) Royal Robbins.

Today, I learned that this classic photo of Gaston Rebuffat was one of the images archived on the "Golden Record" that was placed aboard the Voyager spacecraft.

I find that to be way cool!

Gaston Rebuffat (from the 1986 AAJ)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jan 25, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
Rebuffat, Terray, Buhl, Harrer were some of the first books I read about climbing as a teenager, and they made a big impression on me too. (Also new-worlders Hornbein and Roberts.) Didn't know this classic posed photo had traveled so far, though. Cool thought.
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Jan 25, 2008 - 07:10pm PT
God speed Gaston.
cintune

climber
Penn's Woods
Jan 25, 2008 - 07:13pm PT
Sacre bleu. Would you care for some runout with that...er...haul-loop tie-in, monsieur?

Representin' to the ETs just what life on this planet is ALL about.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 25, 2008 - 07:13pm PT
Here's a video of Rebuffat climbing. I didn't watch the whole thing - it's eight minutes. But it might include the iconic photo of him on the Chamonix Aiguilles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_lhkJWiEGc

I saw him speak in Vancouver in May 1971 - very impressive. "Entre Terre et Ciel" - Between Heaven and Earth. His books were good, though perhaps a bit lyrical and poetic.
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Jan 25, 2008 - 07:18pm PT
Gaston Rebuffat; Great mountaineer and the best hair in climbing.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 25, 2008 - 08:02pm PT
cool Video! better yet if you understand French! ... Wish I did.
couchmaster

climber
Jan 25, 2008 - 08:07pm PT
Man. that pic of Rebuffet is as good as it gets.

There is another one of him that compares as well. He's on one of the Pic de somethings, on the top of the Aguille de Midi or something or other, standing on a narrow thin pinnacle, out in the middle of nowhere - smack dab some where in the Alps. You almost sh#t when you see it it's that good - damn.

Good sh#t.
couchmaster

climber
Jan 25, 2008 - 08:42pm PT
Ahhh, found it:


Except I remember him having a coil of rope in his hand....which intensifies the picture.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 25, 2008 - 11:30pm PT
I joined the "Adventure Library" to get two posters of those wonderful Rebuffat pictures...

the one above in O.D.'s post is also on page 70 of On Ice And Snow And Rock. The caption of in the books is:

"As well as physical balance there is another kind, which is even more important: mental balance. This is the keystone of all mountaineering, both in the earlier stages and in the most exacting ascents."

the title of the poster is: "Mental balance is the keystone of all mountaineering."
the photographer is not attributed, and the credits in the back of the book do not specify which picture goes with what photographer... bummer.

The other poster is entitled "Ascent of Mt. Blanc by the Arete de Bosses" and is attributed to G. Rubuffat..

Both of these posters hang in my study at home... they are childhood inspiration
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jan 26, 2008 - 12:35am PT
May I poke fun at you a little, Mighty Hiker. Your comment amused me about Rebuffat's writing being "a bit poetic and lyrical." Heaven forbid that one should commit that sin. I wish more writing in the climbing and mountaineering genres were as well written as Rebuffat's. Most work takes a big hit in quality when it's translated, unless the translator is some kind of phenomenally gifted writer him/herself, but Rebuffat's is so good, so tight, even in translation one can only imagine how beautiful, lyrical, and poetic the original French must be, as opposed to so much flat or ill-spirited writing we see in so many publications these days. I recently finished Rebuffat's classic "Starlight and Storm" (translated by Wilfred Noyce and Lord Hunt). What an amazing insight into climbing and into the spirit of climbing, communicating above all his love for the mountains. The book left me with vivid impressions. So many great lines, such as, "Life, the luxury of being!" There will be some of us who will feel perhaps at least mildly ashamed for the fun made of his name in years gone by, in some sense trying to diminish him. He was a master climber, in fact. It was a great personal privilege for me to finally meet him, shake his hand, and speak with him quite a few years ago when I was a judge at the Telluride Mountainfilm festival...

My best to you,

Pat
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:03am PT
Gaston and Pierre Mazeaud were my 70's heros.......Does it get any better?
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:12am PT
Great to hear from you, Pat!

I agree, Rebuffat is inspirational like few others. Speaking of balance--physical and mental--I've often used this quote from one of his books: "Action and contemplation--never one without the other."

I'm now in the contemplative stage, myself.

-Jello



Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:23am PT
Thanks, Pat. I wasn't being critical of Rebuffat's writing, far from it. Simply making an observation. The world of climbing could do with more poetry, and more stories and story tellers. Not lurid overwrought purple passages, where the desperate writer heaps on the unnecessary adjectives for lack of anything better to do. (And as I just did.) Just well written, or well spoken, accounts, that elicit a genuine response in the listener or reader.

Too much current climbing writing lacks that soul: "I pulled really really hard on a tiny hold. Then I did it again. And again and again and again. But I did it somewhere exotic, with pretty pictures, wearing unusual clothing, and piled on jargon to make it seem meaningful."

I suspect Rebuffat's writings were translated quite well. He spoke fairly good English and would have checked it himself. That, combined with good climber-translators, would make a huge difference. A lot of climbing writing translated into English doesn't have those advantages.

It may have been redundant to say "lyrical and poetic". :-)

ps Do I get brownie points for finding the Rebuffat video?
Fletcher

Trad climber
Varied locales along the time and space continuum
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:52am PT
Awesome photos and thoughts here..

Ditto on the poetry aspect. Right on.

I've had Starlight and Storm on my reading pile for years. Time to percolate that one to the top.

I was inspired to by that after reading Herzog's Annapurna. There was a great sense of compassion that came through in that book for me, as I recall.

Fletch
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 26, 2008 - 02:07am PT


"Jupiter seen by Voyager 1 probe with blue filter. One image was taken every Jupiter day (approximately 10 hours). These pictures were taken from 01/06 to 02/03, 1979 ; and Voyager 1 flew from 58 million to 31 million kilometers from Jupiter during that time."

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 26, 2008 - 02:08am PT
I grew up with those books too!





graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 26, 2008 - 02:21am PT
"I was inspired to by that after reading Herzog's Annapurna. There was a great sense of compassion that came through in that book for me, as I recall."

Read David Roberts' True Summit.
426

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:23pm PT
It took me a long time to get Starlight and Storm.

The old boy's pretty smooth climbing with a pack on...
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 26, 2008 - 01:25pm PT
The very picture of suave and debonair.
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