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Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Oct 30, 2011 - 02:33am PT
I'll get back to the Zodiac saga in the next few days, I hope. I'll use an obvious pseudonym for the other guy to spare any possible injured feelings or damage to his reputation should he actually trip over this account, although it would be fascinating to read a response from him - I've actually got pictures to support some of my comments. I've been reluctant to tell the story for a while, since I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to keep the account short enough that I don't put people to sleep while still making sure I don't miss any of the uh, aura of our shared adventure.

Update (31/10/11): I got about half way through the story & it definitely looks like it's going to be a long one even with brutal editing. I've saved my draft and I'll keep hacking away at it, but don't hold your breath waiting for speedy results. I'll go with plan "B" and see if I can find some slides to post in the meantime.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 14, 2011 - 03:19am PT
Bump for Stewart

How goes the battle?
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 14, 2011 - 04:08am PT
Yank bump for Stewart. I met you a few years ago at a memorial for a mutual friend. I love the gritty historical tales of woe. Cheers.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 20, 2011 - 12:06pm PT
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Autumn afternoon in Squamish.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#225779
Winter night is past.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#225778
Father winter has started to crown his majesty.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Nov 20, 2011 - 10:50pm PT
Hi Wayno: I remember meeting you guys from the States, and was very impressed to see you all take the trouble to come from so far to say goodbye to a friend. I hope life has treated you well.

My sincerest apologies re: the dearth of Zodiac stories. I've got a severe case of writer's block here stemming from the fact that it's a long story (Zodiac was a Grade VI in 1975) and, other than just listing the events, I'm having a lot of trouble condensing my account into something readable. Add to this that my computer won't permit me to send photos to ANYONE these days and we have at least a lame explanation for my embarrassing failure to follow through.

I'm trying to scrape together the cash to get this rig fixed, so I'll aim to come up with something before Xmas. Talk is indeed cheap, but this one's going to cost me money. Alas.

Here's a (sort of) Daryl story to hold you for the moment:

Have you ever met someone who just should not climb, period? We're not talking about someone that can't climb very well, or isn't very brave, but rather someone who is a walking advertisement for just about every form of stupidity possible in steep places. Well, Daryl found one of them (we'll call him Dibble), and I think I first met this guy in 1973. The entire footage of his climbing career would probably come out in the negative column, since EVERY time Daryl brought him over, the Dibble (who was a complete beginner at the time) would regale me with accounts of his latest gigantic screamer - accounts that were confirmed by Daryl.

I only went out climbing with the Dibble twice, which was more than enough for my nerves. The first time, Daryl, the Dibble and I went out aid climbing outside Victoria and as usual, the plan was for each of us to climb about a third of the pitch so that everyone got a chance, since the routes are usually quite short.

I think I climbed the first bit, and lowered off a Rurp to let Daryl (I thought) take over. No dice - the Dibble demanded to be next. Daryl & I repeatedly warned the guy to take it easy as he Jumared up to the high point. He was jumping up and down in his etriers as he ascended against our loud advice not to do so. Sure enough, he eventually ripped out the placement, but the ground fall was not fatal, as the next piece slowed him down enough that he survived.

The next time was even more bizarre. Daryl & I had our eyes on a two-pitch route at Sansum Narrows, and the Dibble had the only operable vehicle. We HAD to invite him. Daryl led the first pitch without incident and rapped off. A near fist-fight ensued as the Dibble asserted his right to lead the next pitch or else he was going to LEAVE us there. Short of strangling the guy there wasn't much to be done about it, so I jugged up to the belay and he came up to do the next lead. It was about 50' of traverse and A2 or 5.8 depending on how one chose to lead it. He led it on aid for at least four hours. For the only time in my life I actually fell asleep while belaying - twice. Eventually, I rapped off & Daryl took over. He fell asleep & it was my turn again to belay. By now, the Dibble had reached a short gully (5.4) and vanished up it. After a while I shouted up to him to see how he was getting on. Silence. After about an hour of increasingly frantic calls, he finally appeared - at the base of the cliff. We were not amused, since he couldn't locate an anchor and headed off into the forest, abandoning a rack of my climbing gear, my hammer, jumars and harness because "they kept getting snagged on the bushes". The gloves were now off. Daryl & I advised him that his life expectancy was now clocked at about 24 hours unless we got our gear back. I had to go to work the next day, so Daryl accompanied him back up - Island to make sure he followed our advice.

The last I heard of him, he was down in Yosemite. Daryl told me that the Dibble got busted stealing climbing gear AND promptly burst into tears and started begging for mercy from his captors, disgracing Canada for an eternity.

For whatever it's worth, someone told me that he actually finished university and is now a licenced professional, or as Sarah Slean titled one of her songs: Book Smart, Street Stupid.

I'd go a little more easy on this guy, but he was a jerk in about a hundred different ways - the kind of fellow who can brighten up any social event by not appearing.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Nov 20, 2011 - 11:31pm PT
Chill thyself Stew,

Every grade six is a long story. Anything worth it is worth waiting for.

Put it together at your own pace. Any story told properly involving Daryl takes a lot more than, "he rode a bicycle through a restaurant"...

Hatten was thoughtful while the Bullshit and fun took over. It was a strange but welcome influence in the drive towards stuff that you wouldn't put on a resume but the photos were great !...

Your friend,
Jim
gf

climber
Nov 21, 2011 - 01:36am PT
Stewart,
Thanks for the background on "dibble", look forward to the next instalment to grace the squamish in the 70's thread.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Nov 21, 2011 - 02:14am PT
Great story SToo. :-) Glad I never climbed with D(r)ibble........
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Nov 21, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
The last I heard of him, he was down in Yosemite. Daryl told me that the Dibble got busted stealing climbing gear AND promptly burst into tears and started begging for mercy from his captors, disgracing Canada for an eternity.

Did he at least recieve a mild sh$t kicking? Poor baby...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 21, 2011 - 06:49pm PT
Hmmm, I think I know who Dibble might be. I only ever met him in the Valley. Climbed Moby Dick Centre with him once - to be more accurate, I led him up it. Which learned me enough that I passed on trying the Nose with him.

Perhaps he had a control thing when it came to vehicles - we were once going down Valley from Camp 4, and he had a hissy fit and kicked out two people, IIRC for something they'd said about him.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Nov 25, 2011 - 01:14am PT
Thanks Jim. That's the big problem with telling stories - trying to make them bearable in less than several thousand words is a big struggle for people like me at the best of times. It's interesting that you mention Daryl's quiet side, since I can clearly remember that he tried his hand at writing stuff, at least in his earlier days.

You're right, Relic - a vigorous thumping would have been a useful public service, but most climbers I've hung around with seem to be reasonably non-violent, which may explain why someone hasn't finished the Dibble off by now, and there's probably a law or something against that kind of thing, not to mention that time spent in the slammer cuts into fun time at the precipice.

Hey, Greg - do you remember the time I almost made Daryl cry? You & Blair were out at East Sooke Park with Daryl & myself. We decided to grab some lunch & I whipped out a bottle of beer, which I passed around until it got to Daryl - who would not give it back. Soon it became obvious that he planned on finishing it off, and my earnest but lame threats weren't doing much good. He took another swig and put the bottle down within easy reach. I was seething, since I had carried the damn thing in myself, etc. Anyway, while Daryl was chortling away, I picked up a rock and heaved it at the bottle, which shattered into a thousand pieces, spilling all that precious beer into the ground. He was truly speechless. I was truly satisfied. Made my day.
MH2

climber
Nov 25, 2011 - 01:25am PT
Pretty good storytelling, and I think there's even a moral in there, too. Aesop would approve.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 25, 2011 - 04:05am PT
Great stuff, Stewart. I give thanks for your efforts on this thanky holiday. The Dibble story was really enjoyable and relax, your writing isn't boring at all. Go ahead, stretch it out a bit.
Timmc

climber
BC
Nov 25, 2011 - 09:49am PT
Good stuff Stewart- keep it coming!
Auto-X Fil

Mountain climber
Nov 26, 2011 - 02:58pm PT
Bumping political garbage off the main page.
Stewart

Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Dec 4, 2011 - 11:46pm PT
Hi gang: Sorry for the endless delays re: the photos & story about the Zodiac epic. I suppose I could keep offering excuses, but I'll merely ask for (and thank you for) your patience. I'll try to come across with something soon.

Just for an atmospheric memory of the '70s, I do remember that after Daryl & I had finished the day's adventures we would grab some beer and watch people on Grand Wall, which was a Grade V in those days. Anyway, it appeared that the vast majority would make it as far as the top of the Pillar. More often than not, that seemed to be the stimulus for what would often appear to be an animated discussion followed by the start of a series of rappells(sp?) back to the deck. By the way, the word "rappel" also means to recall a falcon (reference: the Compact OED), which I suppose kind of fits.

Incidentally, when Daryl & I climbed Grand Wall, we came across a "summit register" on the flats (I think) that was crammed with accounts written by previous ascensionists. What made me remember the book so clearly was an earlier account of a climb by a guy who climbed it with his wife (or girlfriend) and bivvied there. Let's just say that it appears as though they didn't spend the evening sleeping, and I have wondered to this day if the female half of that team got around to reading the (graphic) account left for posterity by her companion.

Yessir, those were the days.

P.S.: Mighty Hiker, perhaps the safest comment I could make about the Dibble is that your candidate (at the very least) is someone who shares a septic tank full of the same DNA.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 5, 2011 - 12:12am PT
Yes, there was some sort of logbook in the Pardoe Hut on Dance Platform. I wonder what became of it? Perry?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Dec 5, 2011 - 12:36am PT
My favorite entry in that logbook ( not sure of the year I read it ) was something someone had written after an account of the First Australian Ascent of Grand Wall was something along these lines ( I might have it backwards in terms of eating and f u C k i n g )

" Australians eat kangaroos and f U c K koala bears"


I've always wondered if it's true.


:-D
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 5, 2011 - 01:16am PT
Although I do know what happened to the much busticated remains of the Pardoe hut, I have no idea what happened to the register. Chewed up by snafflehounds? Absconded by itinerant history buffs?
No se.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 5, 2011 - 02:05am PT
It would be a cool book to see the light again, indeed...

The Asshole Review was a particularly funny roster !
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