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Dec 4, 2008 - 05:15pm PT

Possibly Rick? could have been Rick Graham, as natural a crack climber as I have seen and pretty well supplied with 'character', too. He had a bar encounter with a center for the Seattle Supersonics which was defused when Rick suggested they, "take it out back", and the much much taller and bigger b-ball player broke up.

I agree that in photography technical excellence and emotional impact are different issues and sometimes in conflict. I think that both climbing and photography can be pursued for their own ends but that their goals diverge as either is carried to a high level. However, even older iconic images surprisingly often turn out to have a degree of posing or other planning in them.

Ander's photos are evocative of the time he is recalling.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 4, 2008 - 05:23pm PT
The Rick? was a hint to Mazama Rick (or Mastadon) to refresh my memory as to names of Washington climbers from that period. They're on the tip of my tongue.

Rick L was/is a keen basketballer, though. But he also likes hockey.

right here, right now
Dec 4, 2008 - 05:52pm PT
Awesome job Anders!!!
This thread has now reached the status of SuperTome™...
(I just learned from the post below how to attach the registered trademark thingies)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 4, 2008 - 05:58pm PT
Thanks! Here are some useful glyphs. Just copy and paste them to a handy word document, and they're ready when needed.

™ ® ©

I ♥ ST (forget where I got this one)

>^..^< (From L)

right here, right now
Dec 4, 2008 - 06:29pm PT
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 5, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
I've finally found another picture of that cliff in Norway, Andersnatten. Here it is, showing Den Hvita Stripa, the classic moderate climb on it. In the winter it forms a respectable ice climb, hence (perhaps) the story about the troll and skiing.
(Someone else's photo, of course - I got it from Google Earth.)

It even has a wikipedia entry.

Edit: This thread currently takes only 76 seconds to load.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 5, 2008 - 07:31pm PT
Now for some more people photos, though there are more climbing photos on the way. It took the Little Smoke Bluffs a long time to cool down from magma and become climbable in 1978, which is about the time where my tale will resume. So for now I’ll add some photos of people who were active in the early to mid 1970s who haven’t already appeared, or for whom I have decent photos. Some may even be recognizable.

One of the gang from Prince of Wales (PW) high school was Carl A. He was particularly good at slab climbing, including some in the Valley, but did pretty much everything. I believe he eventually moved to North Carolina, of all places.

Another was Dave L., who’s already been mentioned. Note classic Canadian "stubby" beer bottle.

And then John A. He and Dave were both captured on film near the base of the “Neat and Cool” cliff (and route) at the Little Smoke Bluffs. This is from 1979, long before the adjacent residential development happened.
You can see the word “eat” in the background, part of a graffito at the base of the route and cliff called Neat and Cool. It was first painted by a Squamish high school student, and said “I Am Neat & Cool”. The student, named Paul, later took up climbing, and was possibly the first born and bred Squamish climber.

The whole area in and around what are now the Neat & Cool and Burgers & Fries cliffs at the Little Smoke Bluffs was then a popular party place for local teens. Fire rings, graffiti, broken bottles, all that stuff. One year, after we started to do clean-ups and other do-gooder stuff there, we rented a sand blaster and erased as much of the graffiti as we could. Either that, or space aliens invaded.
The “Neat and Cool” graffito is getting a bit faded, and I suppose we should renew it, a la Midnight Lightning. (We didn't sandblast it.)

(As I mention every 20 posts or so, all stories and photos, throughout the thread, copyright © Mighty Hiker, 2008, unless someone else took a photo or added something, in which case copyright that person.)

A long way from where I started
Dec 5, 2008 - 08:30pm PT
One of the gang from Prince of Wales (PW) high school was Carl A. He was particularly good at slab climbing...

Here's a fun Carl Austrom story: He was a pretty good all-round climber, but he did have momentary lapses of common sense, as hilariously (for me) shown on the second pitch of Zebra-to-Zion at Smith. Which isn't really in Squamish, but it's close.

I did a lot of my climbing on double ropes, and Carl decided he wanted to try it on Z-to-Z. It's a four-pitch classic on the main wall, which I'd climbed in the past and he wanted to lead. The first pitch traverses a long way rightward on big pockets, and as Carl moved across he placed gear -- some high, some low, wherever a pocket of the right size appeared. But he somehow hadn't quite got the concept of "one rope for placements on one side, one rope for placements on the other side" Or, in this case one for high, one for low. He just cruised along randomly clipping whichever rope he felt like clipping, crossing them over and under one another. When he got to the corner and headed up instead of sideways, he continued this pattern -- sewing up the crack and crossing the ropes crazily. He fought the increasing drag to the belay, and I followed.

By the time I got to his belay, the ropes were half piled and half hanging in the biggest snarled-up clusterfuk you can imagine. He, of course, was about to rocket off up the next pitch as soon as I clipped in.

"Carl, we gotta untangle this mess. It's gonna jam up something fierce."

"It'll be fine. It'll untangle as you feed it out."

"No, it won't. You'll get a little ways up and it's just going to be so tangled it'll never go through my belay device."

"Who cares? You can untangle it. It'll be fine."

And off he went. Got about 30 ft up, with me frantically trying to untangle and belay at the same time. He hit the 10b finger crux just as the rope snarl hit my device in an totally untangleable way.


"Ain't no slack."


"Not happening."


So he hung there off 10b finger jams, cursing and completely forgetting that dropping in a nut and sitting back on it would probably be the sensible thing to do, while I tied him off, untied myself, spent over ten minutes undoing the mess he'd created with his clipping, stacked things neatly, retied, put him back on belay, and told him he could now have some slack.

Funniest damn thing I ever saw while belaying. He had sewed the crack up below him, so he was in no danger, but he was so freaked by the immovable rope that he just clamped down on the rock and hung there instead of taking a break.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 6, 2008 - 01:53am PT
About twenty posts back, Lynne L posted "Will post pics later, but for history .... Dan Leichtfuss, Todd Gordon and newest Zip." On December 1st.

This continues to intrigue me.

Short track speed skating, on the other hand, does not. There are real winter sports that any red-blooded northerner can be proud of. Long track speed skating. Cross country skiing. Biathlon. Sleds and luges. Downhill and slalom skiing. Ski jumping. (I have been to the tops of the 90 m jumps at Holmenkollen and Lillehammer, and instantly shriveled when I looked down.) Hockey. Spare me the contrived stuff - curling, figure skating, ski ballet, etc.

Edit: Bumped. As one of 11/30 threads on the front page currently that has something to do with climbing. Even given that it's Friday night, and people would probably rather drink beer and sh#t talk.
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Dec 6, 2008 - 02:56am PT
MH, I'm glad that the long track in Vancouver 2010 will be held on natural ice under the coastal sky.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 6, 2008 - 04:17am PT
Just another little bump from a captivated yank. I love this frostie banter. Keep it comin' youze guys. Hey Anders, maybe a little about the hard aid stuff. Any excuse for a Daryl story. I always wanted to know about Negro Lesbian.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 6, 2008 - 08:05pm PT
'Wall' Climbing at Squamish in the 1970s - Part I

I confess at this point that, although I've done a few longer routes, at Squamish and elsewhere, it would be a considerable exaggeration to say that I'm a wall climber. I still haven't gotten up El Cap, though the idea is still there.

We really don't have any big walls at Squamish anyway - typical Canadians, we only have medium walls. The longest routes are perhaps 12 - 14 relatively short pitches, at most 500 m of climbing. A competent team would probably have difficulty taking more than two days on any of our 'walls', three at very most. (I except PTPP from this generalization - I don't know if he's graced us with a visit, but even he might have trouble spending more than a week on any route at Squamish.) It might be possible to contrive a girdle traverse that took longer, but none so far.

So I was something of a bystander when it came to the wall climbing at Squamish in the 1970s. Often bystanding on the old highway, watching the show. I've mentioned a few stories upthread - rocking Eric's Fiat when he and Dave N. were on University Wall, Daryl's whopper on Zorro's Last Ride. A few other things that come to mind. There are probably few photos of these climbs, but I'll ask around.

Eric and Daryl did Up From the Skies, to the right of Grand Wall, in 1975. It's still graded A4, and climbs a bunch of expanding flakes. On one of them, Eric climbed part way up the flake, then placed four or five bolts to get around a guillotine flake before tensioning back to the main crack. They did a pitch a day, their favoured strategy, as it allowed more time at the bar. (Gordie described them as "strictly lightweights" in the 1975 guide, so they had to train.) Scott F., Dave L., and maybe others did the second ascent in 1976. It may have had few subsequent ascents, although some of the lower pitches are now also part of routes like Cruel Shoes.

In 1975 Steve Sutton and Hugh Burton appeared, and did a route called Breakfast Run, on Tantalus 'Wall'. Really only finishing the last two pitches - Tim Auger had previously taken a big fall out of them, so given the cast of characters, it must be fairly hard. Maybe unrepeated.

Also in 1975, Eric, Dave N., and Bill T. did a climb to the left of University Wall, called Drifter's Escape. Probably unrepeated.

Daryl and a friend (maybe Stewart?) tried to do the third ascent of Zodiac Wall somewhere there, and were defeated on the last pitch - I think there had been rockfall or something.

In 1976, Daryl and Eric used the "pitch a day" strategy on Cerberus, a route to the right of Tantalus Wall. They did a start which may not have been repeated, to the right of Yosemite Pinnacle. Having scoped it out, they were sure the upper part involved endless seams, and so Daryl got a swager and supplies from a marine place, and made a ton of copperheads. Some were double or triple swages - Daryl's idea was that you just kept pounding it until it held, and so the more metal, the better. The upper parts turned out to be mostly dykes and horrific flakes, and the route was later (more or less) done free. They wanted a name that was underworldly, that would fit with the Tantalus theme, so I suggested Cerberus, the hound guarding the Greek underworld. (For those interested, probably pronounced with a hard "k", not a soft "c" - Anastasia?)

The Sheriff's Badge is a giant pentangle of white rock, underneath the Angel's Crest. (The latter a lovely free arete, about 14 pitches, first freed by Dave Loeks and friends about 1975.) The Badge may not be the ideal climb for those paranoid about authority figures - or it may provide a way for adolescents to show the "tools" who's boss. Anyway, Greg Shannan and Paul Piro finally climbed it in 1976, and for years it may have been the hardest 'wall' at Squamish. I believe that Steve Sutton soloed it shortly after, probably the first major solo climb at Squamish. Brian Norris had soloed Unfinished Symphony in the early 1970s, when it was still a respectable aid route, but that's not at the same level.

Now Daryl had quite a lot of energy. He did a fair amount of wall climbing with Eric, but otherwise climbed with anyone he could get hold of. (He even tried to persuade me, once or twice.) Here's his Squamish wall partner list, at least based on what the guidebook claims re FAs:
Up From the Skies (1975) - Eric
Cerberus (1976) - Eric
Getting Down on The Brown (1978) - Cam C.
Negro Lesbian (1982) - Clive T., Rick B.
Son of Pan (1982) - Greg F.

At one time or another, though, Daryl probably climbed or at least attempted most of the existing longer routes at Squamish, and did many of them, and tried other new ones. With a wide variety of partners.

Negro Lesbian wasn't climbed until 1982. It's near the Black Dyke, on Squamish's equivalent of El Cap's crazy wall. Dykes, expanding flakes, blocks, seams, big roofs - lots of fun for all, apparently.

Trad climber
Dec 6, 2008 - 08:32pm PT

Wrist Twister. Certainly a route to keep you on your toes...

Dave Davis, moments before he ripped a fixed head and took a 50 footer. Managed to wipe the smile off his face. He was one move from the bolt ladder to the top.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 6, 2008 - 10:07pm PT
Thanks, Don!

Wayne had a good point earlier - important for the narrative to be driven by the stories, not by the pictures, recognizing that my old slides are as incomplete a record, or more so, as my memories. And we've all been to boring slide shows, where several hundred slides are introduced with the words "And this is...", because the speaker can't tell a story.

Wrist Twister, being only three pitches, doesn't qualify as a wall even by Squamish standards. But it is fairly hard, bottoming cracks, on the far right side of Tantalus Wall. South South Gully below. Dave seems to have more hair in that photo than when I last saw him three years ago...

As we are talking a bunch about Daryl, and have already seen some shots of Eric in action, here are some pictures of Daryl, provided by Stewart W.
All are roughly from the period 1973 - 75, but I don't think any of them are from Squamish.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Dec 6, 2008 - 11:47pm PT
MH - where does Uncle Bens fit into this?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 7, 2008 - 01:51am PT
Thanks Anders, that was quick work, or was that waiting in the wings? I don't know about any of these other yanks but I think this thread is the shizzle. I appreciate all the work you've put into it.
There are supposedly pictures of the ascent of Half Dome that I did with Daryl and Dave Y. and Gush H.. Gush has them, but he and Dave are not getting along, so I may never see them. I'm still going to try and get some copies.

Not here
Dec 7, 2008 - 02:36pm PT
Anders, what an incredible thread! Keep posting them up!

Dec 7, 2008 - 03:13pm PT
Negro Lesbian goes thru this terrain for pitches 4,5 according to McLane 2005 pp 410,411. The large tooth a bit down and left of the arrow is obvious on the flake emerging from the larger overhang in Kevin's photo (p 411). The white speck a little to the left at bottom is a climber on the Black Dyke. The arrow indicates a bolt and slings seen close up in the next picture.


Trad climber
Dec 7, 2008 - 04:02pm PT
If I can figure out how to scan images off an 8MM movie, I'll post some U-Wall shots circa 1973. My partner got the cedar tree bivy and I got the slot 20'higher. Quiet night listening to harbor traffic and Woodfibre belching aroma therapy. Almost as comfortable as the Stovelegs in belay seats a year or two later. God we were slow.....
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 7, 2008 - 06:49pm PT
I would be delighted to see stills from a 1973 eight mm movie of climbing University Wall, or the movie itself. Apart from the footage of Baldwin & Cooper in 1961, it may be some of the earliest film of climbing at Squamish – Dave N.’s movie of Dave V. and Eric on Sentry Box was from 1975. They had the latter converted from 8 mm to video, and are now getting it further converted into a DVD. Perhaps we need to have a movie/slide night.

Steve Sutton and Hugh Burton did the first ascent of Uncle Ben’s in 1970, a bit before the era if not decade under discussion. A solid test climb. Uncle Ben’s was named for a cheap, popular draught beer called Uncle Ben’s, which in turn was named for a lively character named Ben Ginter - (Not for the brand of instant rice!) The kind of swill popular amongst poor teenagers, and Americans. The climb, and another called Ten Years After, were on the fairly blank face between the Grand Wall and University Wall. (Ten Years After was either for the rock band, or for being ten years after the Grand Wall – except the latter was in 1961.) Anyway, fairly modern climbing, up flakes and face cracks and so on. Steve and Hugh had been to the Valley once or twice by then, and done the Nose, and so were bringing back and applying some new things.

Uncle Ben’s was probably also the scene of the first ‘real’ rescue at Squamish, in 1983. (Steve S. and Hugh B. had been lowered a line on the Black Dyke in 1970, to jumar out in a rainstorm, but that doesn’t really count.) Jim B. fell a pitch or two below Dance Platform, and broke one or both wrists. I was sent to get the RCMP, and we had the usual Q&A session with a bullhorn. In the end, a posse was formed and flown to a shoulder of the Chief. Some people crossed Bellygood and hoisted up Jim et al, they got him back across Bellygood, and he was then flown off. As Squamish has slowly come to have a number of experienced climbers who are resident there, a rescue team has gradually evolved. They get some government backing, and put in a lot of effort, although as with all search & rescue groups, most of their efforts are for non-climbers.

'Wall' Climbing at Squamish in the 1970s - Part II

After Cerberus, the next long route was Humpty Dumpty, which takes a tenuous line of flakes in the middle of the Grand Wall. Scott F. and Carl A., maybe with helpers, did it during winter and spring 1977, an extraordinarily dry winter by Squamish standards. In the middle of the route, there’s a flake named Humpty Dumpty precariously sitting on the wall – and getting around him is part of the fun. I believe that Scott did the last pitch or so by himself.

Daryl and Cam C. did a route in the Western Dihedrals – a series of big bottom to top corners to the right of the Grand Wall – in 1978. Just left of Freeway. It’s called Getting Down on (or in) the Brown, and although mostly aid, involved lots of gardening. It’s probably never been repeated, although with enough effort seems likely to be freeable.

Perry B. and Dave L. did a more interesting route, Zorro’s Last Ride, in 1979. It’s on the wall left of the Black Dyke, and forms a giant “Z” (zed, that is) when seen from afar. The usual stuff – overhangs, seams, flakes, rivets. This is the one which Daryl took a giant fall on, when he broke a buttonhead and ripped a bunch of gear. He went a long way.

And then there’s Pan Granitic Frogman, a six pitch ‘wall’ high on the upper left side of the Grand Wall. Half the battle is getting there, but it’s a very airy spot. (For those who’ve done Squamish Buttress, where the climbing resumes on that route at the end of the forest, go up and right along the narrowing exposed ledge, instead of up and left.) Despite the approach, it’s very exposed, about as exposed a spot as exists on the Chief – very headwally and atmospherish. The routes match, with seams and face cracks and flakes and hooking and stuff. Daryl did this route in 1978, with John S., and then in 1982 another route in the same area. Very rarely done, but quite aesthetic spot.

The other new wall route at Squamish during the 1970s was Freeway. It was the first route apart from the three broken arêtes (Angel’s Crest/North Arete, Squamish Buttress, and North North Arete), the four gullies, and Crap Crags, to go free from bottom to top of the Chief. (North North Arete was probably the first all-free ‘real’ route, done by Eric and Dave V. in 1973.) Freeway seems comparable to Astroman in length and difficulty – sort of an AstroCanuck™®©. It was done by Tom Gibson and Rob Rohn from Ontario in 1979, although they did a lot of cleaning, and used a bit of aid. It was for the most part a new line, too. I guess we should have given them more beer, eh? So that was quite something – big new free route done by easterners. Perhaps Tom can add to the story? Freeway may not have been repeated until 1990, when it was further cleaned and entirely freed, and is now very popular.
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