I think I posted this elsewhere way back, but it seems appropriate here also:
Sometime between April of 1966, when we opened our first little 600 sq. ft. store on Pico Boulevard, and September of 1969 when we expanded into our new 25,000 sq. ft. store on Olympic Boulevard, somewhere in that brief period, something wonderful happened at West Ridge Mountaineering.
Those early days at West Ridge we opened the store at 5 PM because the owners worked in aerospace from 8 to 5. We also only hired climbers to work sales. On that particular wonderful evening,I happened to be the working owner. As I recall two young climbers(Hennek and McLean)were also working that evening when a stunningly attractive young woman wearing an exceptionally short mini skirt entered the store.
She announced that she was a student at USC and was interested in rock climbing. She had no experience - zilch. She was a student taking ballet and gymnastics. All the while, she is doing these incredible stretching exercises - one leg up on the waist-high sleeping bag table, her forehead pressed to her knee. These are very vivid memories.
She wanted someone to teach her rock climbing. My co-workers that evening were crawling all over each other trying to set up lessons.
As it worked out neither of these handsome young lads was to land the job. Instead, one of our newest employees, and one of our least experienced, a lad named Alan Roberts, happened to be working the weekend she walked in and set a date for Stoney Point. Alan Roberts was, at that time, sort of the Woody Allen of West Ridge - not considered by his peers as anybody that should be teaching others how to climb.
Ends up, he took her to Stoney twice and then to Tahquitz - where they failed miserably on the White Maiden – the classic Tahquitz 5.1 route.
Alan went on to become a highly respected rock climber and Tuolumne climbing guide. She went on to become Beverly Johnson.
I was climbing with Annie Whitehouse and some other friends in CO years ago. A friend of mine m, a guy who didn't know who she was was giving unwanted beta to her as she TR'd a finger crack. She was ignoring him until he made a comment about how her thin fingers must make it easier. She paused, looked down and said, "Fu ck you" Then she sent it. What a fox.
Some love for Loulou the Hard, s'il vous plait.
"In the 1930s, Boulaz was "the only woman in the race for the big north faces," historian Rainer Rettner writes. "She was met with a lot of distrust by men." [Photo] Sallie Greenwood
After a bivouac, Allain and Leininger reached Lambert's highpoint. Allain saw a double crack above him, some forty meters high, with an overhang at the end. With his arms in both fissures, his feet in opposition on the slabs, he couldn't place a piton for the first ten meters.
Legendary alpinists who climbed the wall after him—including Lambert, who made the second ascent in 1936, with Loulou Boulaz—all confirmed that it had a difficulty without equal at the time in the entire massif.