Layton Kor - Act III My Life in Spire Repair

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Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 17, 2008 - 05:16pm PT
Act-III My Life in Spire Repair

Third Ascent of the Leaning Tower – with Layton Kor

Layton Kor was probably the largest bundle of energy to ever climb a rock. Everyone is probably aware of his height – I wonder how many know how tightly wound he was. This guy was intense. Don’t get me wrong. His behavior off the rock was not abnormal – except when he was behind the wheel of his automobile.

It was early 1965. I was in my tenth year as an aerodynamic engineer at North American Aviation in El Segundo. My climbing experience was initiated in 1961 and was limited to Stoney Point, Tahquitz Rock, and three trips to Yosemite. My first and only Yosemite climb in 1962 was Higher Cathedral Spire. I returned to the Valley in 1963 for one weekend to climb the Higher Spire again. In 1964, another Higher Spire ascent with Swan Slab and Patio PInnacle thrown in. That’s it – my entire Yosemite experience over a three year period amounted to five short ascents. Then I met Layton Kor and the curtain went up on Act-III of My Life in Spire Repair.

It was March of 1965, Layton was working at Chouinard’s tin shed in Burbank near the Lockheed aircraft plant. My Stoney Point climbing buddies, Dennis Hennek , and Ken Boche were both working for Yvon then and when I had time after work I would go by the tin shed by to visit and pound a few rivets in 1¼-inch angles. Compared to the motley crew, I looked sort of out of place in my suit and tie, but on my first visit Layton was impressed with my work ethic. I don’t remember when or where it happened, but one day he asked if I was interested in doing a Yosemite wall climb. I didn’t even ask which wall, I just said yes.

The Leaning Tower - he wanted to do the third ascent of the Leaning Tower. The first ascent in 1961 had just been followed by Robbins’ solo second ascent in 1963 and Layton had been quizzing Royal about the logistics. According to Royal there were still lots of bolts missing hangers and some bolts needing replacement. Other than that, he bade us well.

It was mid-April. There was still six feet of snow on the ground in the Valley when Kor and I drove into the Bridalveil parking lot. With help of Ken Boche and a few other friends, we stomped in a path – a six-foot deep trough – up to the Tower traverse ledge. It took us a couple of trips and most of the day to deposit our equipment. Kor and I spent that night in Camp-4. I think we were the only tent in the campground. I had a large McKinley canvas tent – large enough for Kor to stand erect. We sat that night under a roaring Coleman lantern discussing Kor’s plan. He had a “plan.” I had no clue.

It was obviously going to be a cold ascent and we were only taking down jackets. We would use our rucksacks for our feet. Layton had borrowed two pairs of Jumars from somebody and he had shown me how they worked in the tent the night before. We would not take a stove- just cheese, bologna, gorp, and water. Kor was convinced we could use candles to warm our hands on the bivouac. That was his “plan.”

Up early the next morning, we trudged through the snow trough to our gear and began the traverse out to the beginning of the bolt ladder first pitch. The ledge was snowy, wet and slippery – and cold. There was no question as to who would lead the first pitch. Layton clipped into the first bolt and seconds later began what was to be a non-stop, irate conversation with the Tower, with God, and with anyone else within earshot. I had never heard anyone curse as often and constantly while climbing. I heard curses that I had never heard before or since – though I admit that one of his favorite rubbed off on me and I still hear myself using it – hopefully nobody else does. It is one that I can only repeat here as a reference to “matriarchal prostitution.” Every missing hanger, every loose bolt, every scraped knuckle, every dropped nut (those that hold the hanger on the bolt), and every time he didn’t get his foot quickly into the next loop, a curse would echo off the wall and down the Valley.

Layton climbed quickly and was up to the belay bolts – he was breathing hard when called down “Off belay.” I’m sure his respiration rate was due more to his conversation than to his exertion. The Robbins Jumar hauling system was not in our repertoire, so we hauled our food and gear by the old fashioned way - hand-over-hand.

My expertise with Jumaring was elementary at best and it took me longer to second the pitch than Layton took to lead it. When I finally arrived at his position he was already getting anxious and quickly put me on belay and urged me upward. About a third of the way up my pitch I clipped a bolt and in the process it came out in my hand. I thought, Whoa, now what? Layton was getting nervous, “Pound it back in, Lauria.” I tried, but it still just fell out when I tried to clip it. “It won’t go, Layton.”

Kor was reaching the red line on his patience meter. He had the extra bolts, but rather than send them up to me he suggested I come down and let him finish the pitch. With great relief, I descended and he took over the lead, replaced the bolt with a new one, and with minimal expletives raced on.

I cleaned the pitch and when I reached his belay stance, Kor suggested that for the sake of time he should lead the rest of the pitches – to Guano Ledge, I thought. He was off, epithets flowing eloquently, and after two pitches requiring several hanger/bolt modifications and some very tricky wet face-climbing over the last ten feet, we arrived on snow covered Guano Ledge. Ahwahnee Ledge was out of the question - It was two feet deep in snow. We attempted to level out the very sloped Guano Ledge by clearing the upper portion and building up the lower portion of the ledge with the cleared snow. The temperature was in the 40s and everything was wet and it was getting dark – and did I say it was cold?

Never fear, we have candles. We settled down in our dampened down jackets with our feet in our rucksacks. Kor fought desperately with damp matches to light up three candles. With our 3-candlepower heater ablaze we soon realized that whatever heat was being generated, we couldn’t feel it. The worthless matriarchal prostitutes!

It wasn’t all a lost cause – we did have a cozy candle lit dinner and Kor revealed his future plans to climb every major wall in the Valley before he left for Europe to do the Eiger. He talked a little about religion, only to abruptly change the subject to his “plan” for tomorrow. Layton quite reasonably thought it would be best for him to lead the rest of the climb. It was obvious that my inexperience was just slowing us down. So it was agreed – I was now auditing the course – and did I mention it was cold?

We still had seven pitches to go and Kor knew it. He almost left skid marks leaving the ledge in the morning. He was around the corner out of sight, but never, never out of earshot. “You damn matriarchal prostitute!” resounded from the canyon walls.

Most of the remaining pitches are just a blur in my memory probably because all I did was belay and clean. There were two exceptions - The Evil Tree, where I learned even more new ways to cuss and the final pitch – the pitch where one traverses out from under the last overhang.

It was getting late. This was the sixth pitch. Kor finished it and, now out of sight, called down for me to be careful cleaning. He warned me about the difficulties of Jumaring and cleaning a traverse. Eventually I found myself up in a corner, with my head bumping an overhang, detaching my lead Jumar from the rope to bypass the next pin. With one aid sling on one side of the pin and the second aid sling on the other side, I began to understand the difficulties.

It was only after removing all but the last piece under the overhand that I had an epiphany. I realized that each time I detached the lead Jumar from the rope, I was supported by only one Jumar. Duh! But here comes the good part. I realized that if the Jumar (the ONLY one supporting me) came off the rope, I would plummet to the end of the rope – in those days, approximately 150 feet! Why, you ask? Read on.

This was my first wall climb and my first experience with Jumars. Nobody told me that I should attach them to my swami belt. I had just done the entire climb without ever being attached to my Jumars! The only thing attached to my Jumars when I released them from the climbing rope were my aid slings.

It was too dark and I was only a few feet below finishing the pitch, so I put the thought of my mind and continued on. I was too embarrassed to mention my folly to Layton. I wouldn’t have had time to anyway, as he was up and moving before I sat down. Over his shoulder came, “Come on we have to get down – now!”

So off we went in the dark on wet rock as it began to drizzle. Layton knew approximately where we were going based on his discussion with Royal. I just tried to keep up. We managed to find the rappel anchors in the Leaning Tower Chimney and after three very wet and cold rappels we were on easier ground heading for the snow trough and the parking lot.

Two days later, at my home in Canoga Park, Kor was sitting at the breakfast table with me and my three kids and my wife relating to them the details of our little adventure. He kept rubbing his right eye nervously. I noticed that the eye was quite red. He thought there was just a little sand left over from the Tower, but hours later the irritation had become almost unbearable. So we took him to the closest ophthalmologist we could find. When he emerged from the doctor’s office his eye was patched. The doctor said he had found a sliver of steel near the center of his right eye’s lens (obviously chipped off a piton on the climb). If it had remained in the lens any longer it would no doubt have left a rust mark and Layton’s vision would have been impaired – requiring eventual surgery.

For at least a year after the Tower, I would receive a card or letter from Kor relating his latest climbs and his future plans – the last coming from Europe. It was over twenty years later that we met up again.

I attended the AAC annual Banquet in Las Vegas in December of ’86. At that banquet, as I entered the dining area, I bumped into Yvon Chouinard. We exchanged greetings and he mentioned that Layton Kor was in attendance.
“Where?”
“He’s hard to miss”, Chouinard motioned across the room. I looked in the direction he was pointing and there in the distance, standing well above the crowd, was a silver-haired giant. By the time I got over to him he was seated at the dining table, his back to me. I tapped him on the shoulder hesitantly, fearing he would not recognize the idiot he led up the Tower in 1965. He turned, “Lauria, you rascal, how are you?”

I’m not sure I ever told Kor that I was never attached to my Jumars.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 17, 2008 - 05:26pm PT
Ha!

Good one Don.
Now he sleeps in, and its the right eye that is troubling.
Sounded like a pretty high tec bivy. :)
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 17, 2008 - 05:39pm PT
"I had never heard anyone curse as often and constantly while climbing."

I don't feel so bad doing that now.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 17, 2008 - 05:58pm PT
Don
It's so great to have you on the taco stand telling
us this history.
Just fantastic!
(And I'm glad it was you, not me)!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Nov 17, 2008 - 06:02pm PT
Don,
Good writing, good memories. This is the kind of thing
I love to read, what made climbing good -- the people,
the adventures at an adventurous time. I hope you are
keeping and cataloguing these writings. They are valuable.
I remember giving a talk at your store... probably in '76 or so, when I was touring with Frost. We gave shows
together in a different city every night for almost three
weeks. I spent time with Chouinard, and we did a show at his
shop. Other shops prior to that in San Francisco and Berkeley and Stanford, and Monterrey... but I especially remember that
night at your store. I think Bachar was there that night,
and he took a real interest in my footage of Holloway.
I remember your good spirit. You were/are one of the real ones, Don. And don't we all have so many memories of Layton. All the best...

Pat
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Nov 17, 2008 - 06:06pm PT
The best!

JL
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2008 - 06:37pm PT
Ament,

If you remember, you and Frost came to my apartment after your talk at West Ridge. I read you my letters from Herbert and it was you guys that prompted me to publish them. Remember?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 17, 2008 - 08:31pm PT
Don- You are truly amazing! Back in the early seventies when I was first hanging out in the Valley, I heard your tale told by nobody in particular about an anonymous first time wall climber following the LT without being tied in! I thought about your predicament when I finally did the route and had many a good laugh at the awkward roof sections.

No keeping a great story secret.
You are the MAN and the MYTH at once----The Jug-er-not!

Thanks for sharing that one. I have retold that tale dozens of times over the years. The inside of the hook of your elbows must have been bruised and sore for weeks! LOL

Right up there with Charles Cole climbing El Cap using only SQUARE KNOTS for rope and webbing! LOL
WBraun

climber
Nov 17, 2008 - 08:46pm PT
WOW wow wow.

Damn, is that one hell of excellent piece Don. I was captivated.

Then this one; "He had a “plan.” I had no clue."

That's an honest assessment of of my life too, LOL

"matriarchal prostitution" I know that one, Bridwell used it all the time too. Hahahaha
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 17, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Wonderful! A kind of climbing, and writing, to which we may all hope to aspire. So to speak.
MH2

climber
Nov 17, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
Hilarious and touching. I greatly like Lauria's writing. I've been hearing Kor stories since '68 but didn't catch on to the guy's significance/omnipresence until Beyond the Vertical.

Spire Repair has a Black Hills act, too, I hope. Certainly a lot of spires, there.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 17, 2008 - 09:00pm PT

Great stuff, keep 'em coming!


That 'jumar with out attachment on WLFT' thing is mentioned in a guide book, Advanced Rockcraft, Downward Bound, or one of those; it made me remember to clip in when I was a wee wall spud!

"I attended the AAC annual Banquet in Las Vegas in December of ’86."
-That was the only time I went to an AAC event, and the only time I met Kor, he was hanging with my good friend, Carlton the shoe guy, we got into a spirited, impromptu, 90 mph road rally on the way back from the crags. The shoe guy introduced us formally at dinner, my hand was lost, in that massive paw.

...I remember giving my roast Beast entree to Eric Bjornstad, cause I didn't eat mammals even, then...


I can recall a number of colorful, often embarrassing, events from that weekend.
couchmaster

climber
Nov 17, 2008 - 09:29pm PT
Wow, Don, great storytelling. I might have peed on my chair when you got to the part of not being tied in to your Jugs, but I'm not going to look.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 17, 2008 - 09:42pm PT
You Go, Don.

That hasta be a contenda
For Layton Kor's favorite Layton Kor story.
At least until someone lets the dogs out...

Didn't know they made tents big enough
for such a legend to flex its shoulders.

Makes me want to go out and break some spires,
Just to hear more.
Mimi

climber
Nov 17, 2008 - 10:15pm PT
What Doug said. Don, you da man! Keep 'em coming. Please!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 18, 2008 - 12:11am PT
great stories Don, wonderful...

and Jaybro, pray tell, what colorful things did happen?
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 18, 2008 - 02:25am PT
I'll tell you later Ed, hopefully in your car as we drive down to Scuffy's on Wednesay, assuming your healing goes well.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 18, 2008 - 02:34am PT
no scuffy for me on Wed... I'm just getting right by my back... things are progressing a lot faster than I thought they would.

Getting out of bed in the morning is still a bitch though. When it isn't I can contemplate a return to climbing.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 18, 2008 - 02:37am PT
Good luck, Ed.
Michael Hjorth

Trad climber
Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 18, 2008 - 12:27pm PT
At the moment things are good, warm and cozy at the ST fireside. And with this piece it's better than ever!

What a story. I thought I had a few hard moments on LT. But I didn't.

Thanks.

Michael
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Nov 18, 2008 - 12:40pm PT
Hey Lauria, you're one helluva good story teller. And I don't just say that to anyone....

Thanks for showing up and posting up.

DMT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Nov 18, 2008 - 01:37pm PT
Bravo! Great story and wonderful storytelling!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2008 - 01:46pm PT
"It was March of 1965, Layton was working at Chouinard’s tin shed in Burbank near the Lockheed aircraft plant. My Stoney Point climbing buddies, Dennis Hennek , and Ken Boche were both working for Yvon then and when I had time after work I would go by the tin shed by to visit and pound a few rivets in 1¼-inch angles. Compared to the motley crew, I looked sort of out of place in my suit and tie,..."

Left to right: Me, Hennek, Yvon(squatting), Guy in hat?, Kor

Dingus Milktoast

climber
Nov 18, 2008 - 01:51pm PT
Man = Tool User (sorry DR!)

That's hilarious! It reminds me of the Beetles crossing the road.

(why DID the Beatles cross the road and where did Paul leave his f*#king shoes???)

DMT
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 18, 2008 - 02:02pm PT
Great shot!

Is that Clark Kent or Stephan Colbert, in the suit?
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Nov 20, 2008 - 12:56pm PT
That's a great photo.
Yes, Don, now that you mention it I do recall staying with you
or at least spending time there at your place. I was thinking back then of starting a climbing magazine. You know, Harvey Carter had once offered to make me editor at Climbing, and I couldn't see leaving Boulder and settling in Aspen, but it started brewing in me about doing some kind of mag. So I started gathering articles, and the years went by, but finally just to see if I could get anything together, I got a few people working on their things, and you sent me your "Letters From Herbert" piece, and Higgins and Royal sent things... but I never could get the magazine together, so then Kennedy invited me to be a sort of guest editor of Climbing that one issue, and I submitted all the pieces I had. Never got one penny for any of that stuff, but nor did I ever hear the end of it... for publishing your piece... with TM's language. I loved it and was glad I did, and I became pretty much an expert at defending you and TM... haha... and helping people understand that language in the hands of certain individuals is not offensive or gratuitous... Sometimes my gut still aches to think about Herbert...

Pat
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Nov 20, 2008 - 01:01pm PT
I loved that article, Pat and Don. Loved it and remember it well (as I do the Climbing Art, copies of which remain in 'my box.')

DMT
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 01:45pm PT
One way to pimp (oops, I meant "bump") your stories is to stick in an interesting, if not pertinent photo.

Okay, on my way to do the first ascent of the north face of Pingora in the Wind Rivers, Ed Speth and I stopped off in Jackson to do the Grand. We were fortunate enough to bump into a very interesting and large climbing party on the Exum Ridge. We climbed behind them to the summit where this photo was taken, August 10th, 1963.

Question: Can you name (I can) any of these characters?

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 20, 2008 - 02:46pm PT
Hypothesis: Some of the group are Sherpas, perhaps who had been on the U.S. (Dyhrenfurth) expedition to Chomolungma (Everest) that spring. Which in turn suggests that some of the others are Americans who were on that trip.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Nov 20, 2008 - 02:54pm PT
I like dude snoozing there.

DMT
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 03:03pm PT
The snoozer was altitude sick.

Okay, here's some names, Exum and Corbet, Everest Expedition ...
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 03:15pm PT
More hints. Dude in Park Service pants was a well known Park climbing ranger/mountaineer.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 20, 2008 - 03:45pm PT
"Kor was convinced we could use candles to warm our hands on the bivouac. That was his “plan.” "

Ha!
That's as foolish a notion as Yabo relying on raw potatos as wall food.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 20, 2008 - 03:57pm PT
Tenzing Norgay?
Nawang Gombu?
Gooney

Trad climber
Longmont, CO
Nov 20, 2008 - 04:32pm PT
Black helmet = Tenzing Norgay

Edit: Nah, he'd be older than that by the American expedition.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 04:50pm PT
Ah, come on you guys, even I don't remember the names of the Sherpas (or anybody else except for Exum & Corbet). I'm looking for names for the others
MH2

climber
Nov 20, 2008 - 05:49pm PT
I dunno, despite Everest: The West Ridge being about the first climbing book I ever had (a present).

Is white helmet Barry Corbet?

Joe Fitschen in orange parka??
scuffy b

climber
On the dock in the dark
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:02pm PT
Back to the matriarchal prostitution stuff...

Can anyone with a Green Roper or, better yet, with a good (but
perhaps strange) memory or, best, with first-hand knowledge,
tell me:

Who did the first ascents of the MW route and the RF route in
the Valley?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:03pm PT
Scuffy, I have a green Roper near at hand, but am unfamiliar with the abbreviations you use.
Strider

Trad climber
one of god's mountain temples....
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:14pm PT
There is a route listed as RF in the Roper guide...
RF, II, 5.8. Greg Schaffer and Rob Foster August 1966
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:17pm PT
Hey Don,

I thought that you were kidding about hammering rivets into pins with your suit on. Looks like a fashion spread. Ha ha.

Very cool pictures.
scuffy b

climber
On the dock in the dark
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Thanks, Strider. That one stands for Rat F*#k, I believe.
I think the MW is between Lower Yosemite Falls and Sunnyside
Bench, maybe even called Sunnyside Bench--MW route.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:52pm PT
Sunnyside Bench - MW Route

Art Gran and Jack Hansen, September 1960.

"This is a filthy, decomposed climb a few feet to the right of the Waterfall Route."
scuffy b

climber
On the dock in the dark
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:56pm PT
Thanks, Anders. That's the one with the Matriarchal
Prositution allusion.
Roper makes it sound pretty nice, though, doesn't he?
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 10:22pm PT
MH2,

No Fitschen ain't in the picture and Corbet is in the RED hat.

My memory has been jogged. Jack Hansen was the guy that got me into rock climbing (See "The Original Vulgarian" somewhere in the depths of this forum). Now I remember him telling me that he and Gran did a route in the Valley. And I can only guess that "MW" is definitely a referral to matriarchal prostitution.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Nov 20, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
Don,

exceptional account! What really works for me is that, even though Don and Layton were doing a difficult climb (3rd ascent of WFLT), the story is not about all the pitches of 5.13d, 5.14a, 5.13b that they climbed. This story is way more interesting because it is about the relationship between the two climbers.

I think the current generation of "tigers" could learn a lot from reading Don's account. Numbers get pretty boring, especially now that just about everybody is climbing "hard". It is not about the destination, it is about the journey.

Bruce

ps - that guy on the far right in the photo looks like Fritz Wiessner.
Double D

climber
Nov 20, 2008 - 11:24pm PT
""He had a “plan.” I had no clue.""

Too funny! I like the candle plan. Hard-Kor for sure!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Nov 21, 2008 - 01:22am PT
Great story. I just added a link to it to the Leaning Tower Page - http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yblewest
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2008 - 02:24am PT
bhilden,

Come on Bruce, that's Glen Exum!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2008 - 02:30am PT
You guys are great!

Grossman: Jug-er-not

Double D: Hard-Kor
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Nov 21, 2008 - 04:32am PT
Don,

did anyone ever tell Glen Exum he looks like Fritz Wiessner!

Keep 'em coming! These are classics!

Bruce
Mike.

climber
Nov 21, 2008 - 09:34am PT
Great account of your climb, DL. Really enjoyable.

Knowing the route makes the read even more fun. It's sort of novel thinking of the WFLT as a cutting edge climb, as for years the route has been one of the standard precursors to El Cap and other grade sixes. Along with many other folks, I upgraded some of the old hardware which was chronically failing. It was a real history buzz yanking out some of those old Star Dryvins with shafts worn down to 1/16th of an inch by spinning hangers, weight and time. Actually, kind of sad on a level.

Cheers, and thanks again for your great contributions on the Forum.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 22, 2008 - 01:42pm PT
Mike & Valerie Cohen bump
Fletcher

Trad climber
the campfire just a ways past Chris' Taco stand
Dec 6, 2008 - 01:19pm PT
Awesome story Don... with emphasis on the story part. So true that linear recitations of numbers have limited mileage, at least in my book. We humans love stories.

Fletch
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 6, 2008 - 01:51pm PT
Fletch,
That is getting the heart of the matter.

Philo's latest Black Canyon thread,
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=730016&tn=0

In this new Black Canyon thread, Peter Haan underscored this notion about what makes compelling writing about climbing (in particular he was commenting on, and encouraging Phil's style):

"Gee. This was real writing." ... "No blow by blow account--- tedious engineering style---of what they did, but rather their much more interesting human issues: their fear and concern detailed and how they related to each other and to their own particular live and what might happen tomorrow."
GDavis

Trad climber
Sep 11, 2009 - 09:25pm PT
Bump!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Sep 11, 2009 - 11:59pm PT
GDavis, thanks for the bump. I missed this story last November.

Don: Great story! I remember hearing about Madsen doing a wall without being clipped into his jumars. Ah, those were the days...
I hope your putting your writing into a book. You offer a unique perspective of American rock climbing history
Ray-J

Social climber
east L.A. vato...
Sep 12, 2009 - 09:26am PT
Wonderful story.

Thanks so much for sharing.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 12, 2009 - 10:22am PT
Good story Don! Do you still get cold thinking about it?
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Sep 12, 2009 - 10:47am PT
Great story Don!

That is a very young Renny Jackson in the teton summit photo above.

Peter
GZ

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 10, 2010 - 06:36pm PT
Wonderful story Don.

Have your elbows ever recovered? <G>

-George
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Sep 10, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
Don,

You remember what street that tin shed was on in Burbank? A old family friend took a trip to Yosemite with Chouinard after running into him at that shed, they talked about falconry a d climbing at Stony. My dad grew up in Burbank and is the same age as Yvonne, my dad used to climb at Williamson Rock, Mt. Pacifico and Stony back in the 50's but never ran into Yvonne or any other climbers of the day.
BooDawg

Social climber
On the Road, Pacific Slope
Sep 10, 2010 - 07:30pm PT
Great Story, Don; sorry I wasn't on S.T. when you first posted it!

There's a picture of Don's, showing the snow depth at the time of their climb at

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1223002&tn=20

Don, Now that you found your WFLT slides, why not scan & post them here?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Sep 10, 2010 - 08:49pm PT
Great story, Don! Thanks.
Scraptee

Trad climber
Tacoma
Mar 20, 2012 - 12:15pm PT
One of my all-time favorite ST threads. Needs a bump...
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Mar 20, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
Thanks for the bump.
Great thread.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 20, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Jody was with Layton last weekend. Maybe he has a photo?
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Mar 20, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
Hey Don, I remember the immense enjoyment I felt reading your article "Letters from Herbert" many years ago. Has that ever appeared on supertopo? I would love to read that again. For those supertopians who have not experienced it, I would say that their lives are not yet complete.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Bump for end of an era and a legend
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:05pm PT
This is one of my favorite Layton stories. End of an era indeed.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jun 5, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Bump!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 5, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
Great story, Don.....more, more!
Roots

Mountain climber
SoCal
Jun 5, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
That was a fine read. Thank you!
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