Jim Bridwell Appreciation thread

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C4/1971

Trad climber
Depends on the day...
Feb 4, 2010 - 05:55pm PT
I found this by accident and got a great smile reading all the stories about Bridwell.
My favorite memory was doing Chickenhead Delight with Bridwell, John Long, Steve Wunsch, and Liza Anderson, after a night of drinking and then dropping acid at two in the morning. None of us had slept, having wandered around the valley on a warm summer full moon night. In the morning we did the approach, only to find two German climbers falling out of the bottom of the first pitch. We were all still buzzing, and eventually they very kindly offered to let us go up in front of them. As I recall, Jim put his shoes on the wrong feet, John tied a hangman's noose and then proceeded to wrap it around his neck, and then we all third classed the first pitch. Liza explained to the very nice Germans that we were all a little crazy, but that we knew what we were doing. It was a fun climb, and we had another great summer day in Yosemite.

The day that they did the Nose changed climbing forever in the Valley and I was happy to watch it from the meadow. Almost as much as fun as watching Rick Sylvester ski off El Cap.

This is the first time I have posted on this site, but reading the names brings back a lot of memories from the early seventies. Hello to many folks I have not seen in years.
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Mar 8, 2010 - 10:55pm PT
You know its funny how things work,

I remember only how poor we all were at the time. I love all the old School tales .

Lot’s of love to you all, Dogtown.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 11, 2010 - 02:15pm PT
Big ole BirdBump!!!
Pate

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 15, 2010 - 05:30pm PT
Buzz-ump.
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de la Playa
May 26, 2014 - 11:19am PT
The other one got bumped and this one hasn't seen the front page in a while.



EDIT: I'll check this one Jim, but I think it came from the man himself.

EDIT2:
I originally said Bridwell was a marathon runner. I was wrong. It must have been too early in the morning. Rick Sylvester was the marathon runner (I think...)



EDIT3:
I found the source of my confusion. Sylvester has run a large number of sub-three hour maratthons.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 26, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Don't recall Jim running marathons...could be wrong. He was a good high school track athelete, in the hurdles i believe.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 26, 2014 - 02:54pm PT
Rick Sylvester has run at least dozens of marathons....
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 26, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
Firecracker
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 26, 2014 - 06:23pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Big-headed, no.

Pig-headed, sometimes: It's how ya get up the damn things!
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Aug 23, 2014 - 01:07pm PT
Jim Bridwell climbing gear

When I first got into rock climbing, the local climbers were my hero’s since they were in many photos in the local climbing guidebooks. But when my world of climbing grew, especially when I started collecting climbing gear, my new hero became Jim Bridwell. I wasn’t always the forward paparazzi, actually I used to be quite shy. My first photo of me and Jim together was staged at the Phoenix Bouldering Contest. I was too shy to meet him so I had my friend Rich ready to take my photo, and once I got next to Jim my friend snapped the photo. In some weird way it counted! The following many years after that photo I became friends with the Bridwell family. They opened their hearts to me, and the time I got to share with them was awesome!
Jim is quite the amazing historian of climbing gear. He remembers every detail. He was living the dream right when the vintage climbing gear that all of us collectors dream of, was blossoming. Jim signed many photos for me and shared many stories about his climbing gear. Eventually I told Jim that I want to preserve his personal climbing gear in my collection. It was a slow process and the donated items were not free, but what price do you put on priceless? When Jim gave me the first Bridwell item, he stopped and put his hand firmly on my shoulder and said, “You know that you are getting a deal here.” It was a deep moment between us as we stared at each other in silence, or maybe it was the ice breaker, but after that Jim kept bringing more stuff to me. One of the greatest pillars in my museum, is that Jim Bridwell trusted in me to preserve Jim Bridwell. So it is Jim Bridwell that inspired me to go beyond having a collection, and to create a climbing gear museum.
Climbing Magazine cover, Jim Bridwell
Climbing Magazine cover, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Mad Rock Catalog, Jim Bridwell
Mad Rock Catalog, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim Bridwell slide show, Desert Mountain Sports, AZ
Jim Bridwell slide show, Desert Mountain Sports, AZ
Credit: karabin museum
I got my first Bridwell signature at a slide show presentation at Desert Mtn Sports in Phoenix, AZ. The show was called “Changing Times, The Evolution of Big Wall Climbing.” Honestly the show was a sleeper, but DMS encouraged all to bring beer. I remember a few photos of Jim showing off his 12 pack abs while climbing. I went to a climbing show in Utah where I ran into Jim again and spent a lot of time with him talking about climbing gear history. Jim was impressed with my knowledge of bolt hangers. Tom Frost also was at the show and was handing out signed photos of Frost’s greatest climbing moments. These vintage climbers are really fun to hang out with!
Marty letter to Jim Bridwell
Marty letter to Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
A young Jim Bridwell
A young Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
September 1998 I received my first climbing artifacts from Jim Bridwell’s personal rack. Three items total; Nose route bolt hanger, Bridwell homemade blue hanger, and Ring angle claw hook. We never found out why the Nose hanger has “RK” stamped onto it. Only 12 Bridwell Blue hangers were created. The Ring angle claw hook is one from a set of three made in 1967. I love how pitted the metal is and the crack by the ring. The ring angle claw hook originally had blue paint on it and I stripped it off. This act was early in my collecting and it makes me feel like such an amateur historian. From then on every piece of gear I collected I left original. To truly preserve the history of these items, I wrote up authenticity papers for every Bridwell item I received, and Jim signed them.
First Bridwell donations to the Karabin Climbing Museum
First Bridwell donations to the Karabin Climbing Museum
Credit: karabin museum
First items authenticity paper
First items authenticity paper
Credit: karabin museum
Ring Angle claw hook c.1967, Jim Bridwell
Ring Angle claw hook c.1967, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Bar fight signature, Jim Bridwell
Bar fight signature, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
The Outdoor Retailers show is held twice a year, and every time I saw Jim he had another item for the museum. At this show he brought in a bucket of gear which I obtained almost the entirety of the bucket. A few items slipped away from me and ended up in a climbing store in Portland, OR, and over time I heard that the items were stolen or just disappeared. The photo below is one of my most treasured photos of vintage gear. Thanks Jim!
Bridwell Bucket, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell Bucket, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim believes that this piton is homemade from the 1940s. I believe that it is a 1940s piton blank that was not drawn out yet into a piton, created by CCB or somebody. But since the ring was added before the eye was refined and the blade was tapered, this suggests a backyard creation.
1940's homemade piton, Jim Bridwell
1940's homemade piton, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
1930's CCB piton found on the Mittileggie Ridge, Eiger, Jim Bridwell
1930's CCB piton found on the Mittileggie Ridge, Eiger, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Japanese piton, Patagonia, Cerro Stanhardt, found by El Mocho, Jim Bri...
Japanese piton, Patagonia, Cerro Stanhardt, found by El Mocho, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
When Jim first started climbing William Dolt Feuerer gave him this piton which was made in 1958. Jim dreaded dragging this heavy piton up the Yosemite walls, but he said he pounded the sh#t out of it and it never lost its shape.
Dolt piton, C.1958, Jim Bridwell
Dolt piton, C.1958, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim found this Charlet Moser piton in the Swiss Alps in the 1970s. We decided to donate this piton to the Arizona Mountaineering club as a gift for Wayne Schroeter, for his outstanding commitment to the AMC club.
Charlet Moser piton, Swiss Alps, Jim Bridwell
Charlet Moser piton, Swiss Alps, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Chouinard 3" steel bong c.1960, Jim Bridwell
Chouinard 3" steel bong c.1960, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
LONGware bongs c.1960, Jim Bridwell
LONGware bongs c.1960, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim created many uses for this angled piece of aluminum. This is a Bridwell Nut and Bong Extender. Works great as a big nut, has a nice flat stable platform to pound a bong against, but Jim took it one step further by cutting a big notch into one end and then using that as a bong super extender, Yipe! The Yosemite Museum has a Bridwell Slider, which is two of these aluminum plates, placed together on the flat side and held together by two channels.
Bridwell Nut and Bong Extender, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell Nut and Bong Extender, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Bridwell Nut and Bong Extender, R&I mag Aug 2014, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell Nut and Bong Extender, R&I mag Aug 2014, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
LONGware rurps c.1961, Jim Bridwell
LONGware rurps c.1961, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Dolt Jacks c.1968, Jim Bridwell
Dolt Jacks c.1968, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Dolt Bashchock 6-6 c.1969, Clog Single Hole Wedges C. 1967, Jim Bridwe...
Dolt Bashchock 6-6 c.1969, Clog Single Hole Wedges C. 1967, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
When Jim repeated the Direct Northwest face route of Half Dome, he replaced this Royal Robbins hanger which was placed in 1957. It is the original pendulum hanger from pitch 10.
Robbins Bolt Hanger from Northwest Face route of Half Dome c1957, Jim ...
Robbins Bolt Hanger from Northwest Face route of Half Dome c1957, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim was certain that Warren Harding used this Crackjack device on the route Astroman, but in a letter through Don Lauria, Harding mentioned he had never seen the Crackjack device before. The Crackjack was created by Les Wilson and Peter Haan in 1964
Crackjack c.1964, Jim Bridwell
Crackjack c.1964, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim Bridwell expedition, signed
Jim Bridwell expedition, signed
Credit: karabin museum
At some of the OR shows Jim’s wife Peggy and son Layton were there. Peggy and I would go around booth to booth collecting tons of schwag. I would show Jim’s signed photos and she would mention she was Jim’s wife and we got just about anything we wanted. This is one of my favorite photos. The Bridwell family.
The Bridwell Family
The Bridwell Family
Credit: karabin museum
Jim told me stories about how he created hooks out of saw blades. He said they were really strong and could hook a crack which is thinner than a RURP.
Bridwell saw blade hooks c.1998, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell saw blade hooks c.1998, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
After the ascent of the Pacific Ocean Wall, some of Jim’s gear disappeared or got stolen. Jim told me I would have been interested in a lot of the items, especially a Porter Slider, which is two opposed nuts wired together. He said over and over that he knew that it was Jay Fiske that took his gear. Jay died in the 1980s. A few years after Jim told me this story, I got a phone call from Eric Kohl saying that he went to a garage sale and obtained many vintage items that I may be interested in. One of the items was Jim’s Porter slider. The garage sale was at Jays brothers house, so his brother must have obtained Jays gear. I called Jim and mentioned that I found his slider and all he said was, “does it have two notches on the top of the nut?” And it does. Jim’s screamed “I knew it, it’s mine!”
Porter Slider c.early 1970s, Jim Bridwell
Porter Slider c.early 1970s, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Porter Slider and authenticity paper, Jim Bridwell
Porter Slider and authenticity paper, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
September 1999 Jim was developing a new route named “Odyssey” on the Grand Capusan, Chamonix, France. The route joins the Lecco Route at the top. Jim’s climbing partners were yelling down to Jim to get climbing, but jim was digging out these pitons yelling back to his partners, “but I can get $50.00 from Marty for these.” Both pitons were created by Carlos Mauri in 1952/53 and were found on pitch 14.
Carlos Mauri pitons c.1952/53, Jim Bridwell
Carlos Mauri pitons c.1952/53, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Odyssey/Lecco paperwork, Note Jim's perfect lettering on the documents...
Odyssey/Lecco paperwork, Note Jim's perfect lettering on the documents, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim Bridwell signature
Jim Bridwell signature
Credit: karabin museum
Both Jim Bridwell and Eric Kohl dangled this chrome Dolt gem in front of me for years, and yes I dreamed of it every night. Jim caved in first and I finally got one for the museum.
Dolt bolt hanger c.early 1970s, Jim Bridwell
Dolt bolt hanger c.early 1970s, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
After climbing at Joshua Tree, I stopped over at the Bridwell estate and scored this cool climbing handhold from Jim’s climbing wall. I think at that time there was a pig running around the Bridwell’s back yard. This wood hold is awesome! Jim really went into detail with the carving to make the hold ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
Bridwell climbing hold c.1990, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell climbing hold c.1990, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
1975 Nose in a day photo, Billy died as I was working to get his signa...
1975 Nose in a day photo, Billy died as I was working to get his signature
Credit: karabin museum
Robert Olson sporting the Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Robert Olson sporting the Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
I put this story on the Supertopo Marty Karabin’s Message thread a few years ago, but I know it belongs here as well.
the Bridwell shirt - I moved into a house with my good friend Scott and a friend of his, and later Scott met his wife to be named Debbie. All of us decided to go tubing down the Salt River one day since it was summer again in Arizona. We purchased a new product on the market called Bullfrog sunscreen which we applied it all over us before we hit the water. We were experienced tubers so we had our own cooler tube, radio tube, and covered the black tubes with big towels before sitting in the water with them so we would not get burned. It was a hot day so we kept reapplying the sunscreen being smart and being one step ahead of the hot sun. I was wearing a red hippie shirt that I purchased from a Goodwill a few years prior. This shirt I kept unbuttoned so my chest was exposed and my shoulders were covered. It was a fun trip!

An hour later once we got home we noticed how burnt we really were and the blisters started appearing. Scott was from Hawaii and he was totally fine and instantly tanned. Debbie and I were more of the white skin breed where when tanned, we would become a shade below antique white. Debbie started getting finger size blisters all over her legs and my stomach become one huge blister. The next day I visited a doctor who instructed me to keep vitamin E liquid on the burn at all times or I would really feel the pain. The healing process took three weeks where I could not work, wear a shirt and pretty much sat the entire time. We contacted Bullfrog with the problem where they were going to send us each a full years supply of sunscreen in apology. I do not know what that amounts to since I told them I would never trust putting their product on me again so do not send it. I was just informing them of the problem. Bullfrog sunscreen is now a big name and is on many of the store shelves across the country.

Why am I telling you this? The red hippie shirt that I was wearing is the exact same shirt that Jim Bridwell is wearing in the famous 1975 "One Day Ascent of The Nose" photo. I threw away my shirt after the tubing trip but was amazed that it was totally the same shirt. Many years later at one of the trade shows, I was talking to Jim about the clothing he was wearing in that famous Nose photo. He got a laugh out of my story and found it amusing. I asked if he still had any of the clothing especially the pants that he was wearing. He said "Why would you want those pants, they have a hole in them near the knee?" That was exactly why I wanted the pants. You see, in collecting clothing memorabilia, an item is always more valuable if it has a rip or tear in it, especially if you can see the tear in a photo or video. This way there is no doubt that it was the original over just another store bought fake.

Jim mentioned that he may still have the shirt, but may have thrown it away as well. Jim searched his house and was able to find it then called me saying "Come on over and get it!" I told him to do nothing with it! Do not even wash it and just leave it as it was! I was pretty excited YES! Did I mention YES!!! (This yes goes along with a little dance I did around the house when I found out). Jim said that he would sell it to me for a few hundred bucks.

At the time, my friend Rich LeMal was going through a bad time in his life. Rich has always been my best friend, and I always watched after him. I figured that it was time to cheer him up and to go on a fun road trip. So drive to San Diego to visit the ocean, then drive up through Tacquitz and climb there a little, then cruise through Palm Desert, and then return home to Arizona. I called Jim and mentioned that we would be going by his house on our trip, and to get the shirt ready for me. I did not mention to Rich that we were stopping at Jim's house.

The trip was a blast and we shared many laughs and then while in Palm Desert, I told Rich that I have to stop at a friends house to pick something up. Jim's house was very easy to find. Peggy and Jim were home and invited us in where Rich gave Jim a look of "I know you." Rich is an older climber than me who has never missed reading a Climbing Magazine. It finally dawned on him that he was standing in front of Jim Bridwell. Rich didn't know if he should run away or to start jumping up and down like some school girl. Jim came over and broke the ice saying to Rich, "It is very nice to meet you." I noticed this blue paisley shirt hanging off of a hanger on the wall, but I walked right by it and stood wondering why Jim has not given me his shirt yet. Jim looked at me and said "That is the shirt!" Ummmmm, I was expecting the red one that he was wearing in the Nose photo and I became disappointed of what I was purchasing.

I was really wanting the red shirt since it was in my sunburnt tubing memory, and was I somewhat bummed out. I paid for it anyways and shrugged my shoulders. Jim then filled me in on the history of this blue paisley shirt. Jim found this piece of fabric and while he was sitting around Camp 4, he would work on it on his off climbing days. He decided to create a shirt with it. This entire shirt was hand sewn and created by Jim Bridwell. The snap buttons around the collar, the button loops, all the sewing, everything. At that time my trophy started looking less tainted and I became excited about the shirt. I noticed that there was a strange button made of wood in the shape of a cross with a circle on top. Jim said that originally there were 5 wood buttons on it however, the one that was there was the only one that lasted through his climbing adventures. Jim carved the wood buttons out of Manzanita branches from plants in Yosemite. Before we left the Bridwell residence, Jim looked at me and said that he knew that I was getting a screaming deal here. I reassured Jim that his amazing shirt was in the best hands it could be in.

Rich and I continued on our adventure and I believe that Rich held the shirt all the way home. Rich was alive again like new batteries had been installed. He thanked me many times for my surprise to him. Rich in years later was approached by two girls from the Mormon Church which took him in as one of their own. He suddenly stopped smoking, drinking and everything and found enlightenment with his new world. Rich now has been clean for 8+ years and teaches scripture to teenage Mormon kids every Sunday. I know that people say weird things about the Mormons from time to time, but I have a huge respect for them since they saved my friend Rich from total collapse in life. Rich is very happy!

I called Jim again and asked if he could recreate more of the wood buttons on the shirt. He said that he would need some manzanita to carve the buttons out of. I told him the Manzanita was on the way. At that time Rich and I were working on creating new climbing routes at our secret area named Northern Devils Canyon, which is near Superior Arizona. Jim received the Manzanita and carved 6 new buttons out of the branches, sent them back to me, and I personally sewed 4 of the 6 onto the shirt in the places where the missing buttons originally existed. The only original button is the second one down from the top, black thread. It can easily be seen in the 1975 "Nose in a Day" photo just below Jim Bridwell's hand.

After Billy Westbay, Jim Bridwell and John Long completed the Nose in a Day adventure, they visited a Salvation Army Thrift store, purchased these hippie duds especially for this famous Yosemite photo. Jim wanted to wear his shirt for the photo but John Long could not fit into the red button down vest shirt purchased from the store. so Jim and John switched shirts and the rest is history. All of the clothing was eventually thrown away except for this shirt that Jim Bridwell had created. I never washed it since I wanted it to still have the Camel non-filter cigarette aroma that Jim is so well known for. I am so honored in life to be possessing such a great Yosemite piece of this caliber in my home.

I know that this historic shirt if properly advertised could fetch a lot of monies, but I want it to go to the Yosemite Museum for free. This shirt was another item that almost got destroyed in a flood that happened at my house many years ago. I have always known that this amazing piece of history belongs in the Yosemite Museum. Message #244 on the “Marty Karabin’s Message to all climbers” Supertopo thread shows many people enjoying their moment in the Bridwell shirt.
Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Manzanita buttons, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Manzanita buttons, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Manzanita button specs, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Manzanita button specs, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
New Bridwell buttons, Bridwell shirt,  Jim Bridwell
New Bridwell buttons, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Framed documents for the Yosemite Museum, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Framed documents for the Yosemite Museum, Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Bridwell shirt on display at the Outdoor Retailers show, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell shirt on display at the Outdoor Retailers show, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
James Karabin sporting the Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
James Karabin sporting the Bridwell shirt, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim had a milk crate of bongs that he was not using anymore and donated them to the museum. 16 bongs total, a few SMC, LONGware 3 1/2” and the majority are Chouinard. Some of the bongs are stamped “JB” and two are stamped “DH” Dennis Hennek. A few have extra lightening holes on them drilled by Jim. One of the bongs was donated to the Olson Climbing Collection.
16 of Jim Bridwell's bongs and authenticity paper
16 of Jim Bridwell's bongs and authenticity paper
Credit: karabin museum
Bongs from Jim Bridwell
Bongs from Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
A few more Jim Bridwell bongs on display at the Arizona Hiking Shack
A few more Jim Bridwell bongs on display at the Arizona Hiking Shack
Credit: karabin museum
LONGware 3 1/2" bong, Jim Bridwell
LONGware 3 1/2" bong, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Summer 2001 I was going through a divorce. My house was sold and my life went into storage units. I was having trouble trusting anybody or anything. I could not get comfortable at my apartment so I packed up the vehicle to go camping. But once the camp was set up, two hours later I was not comfortable doing that and was back in my vehicle again driving to basically, nowhere. For some reason I just started driving West toward the ocean, but once I hit Palm Desert CA, I remembered that Jim’s house was there. I decided to stop in and say hello. It was still early in the day and nobody was home so I laid down a blanket and fell asleep on the driveway. I awoke eight hours later with Jim kicking me in my ribs asking “why are you here.” I didn’t really know, I just couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. While Jim and Peggy cooked dinner, Jim opened up his climbing gear shed and said I could look around but nothing was for sale. All of his gear is historical because of the Bridwell name, but he has a lot of common gear which I really wasn’t interested in. After an hour of picking, I put a pile of his gear on the coffee table and said lets talk about these items. Luckily for me I had some monies with me, and thats what I used in trade. What was interesting about the visit was that the Bridwell’s were about to lose their automobile in two days, and the amount of money I brought to them was the exact same amount that they needed to get them out of their problem. Peggy called me an angel that was sent to them. Jim didn’t necessarily want to part with his gear, but it was going to a good home and the monies presented was welcoming.
Yates #6 Big Dude, second generation c.1986, Jim Bridwell
Yates #6 Big Dude, second generation c.1986, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Yates #6, #7 Big Dude c.1987, trigger bars stamped "Bridwell", Jim Bri...
Yates #6, #7 Big Dude c.1987, trigger bars stamped "Bridwell", Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Stregor #4 cam, Jim Bridwell
Stregor #4 cam, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Wired Bliss #6 Buddie c.1987, Jim Bridwell
Wired Bliss #6 Buddie c.1987, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
While Jim was climbing the Totem Pole in Arizona, he noticed a large cam abandoned deep inside the crack out of his reach. At the top of the crack was a ledge where Jim got the idea of lowering the hammer down from the top of the crack to the cam, and then swinging the hammer to knock the cam out. It actually was working until Jim didn’t hear any sound anymore. While rappelling back down the route, Jim found the cam at the edge of the crack and easily plucked it out. It was a Kuate 7.5 cam from Mexico.
Kuate 7.5 and 5, Mexico c.mid 1980s, Jim Bridwell
Kuate 7.5 and 5, Mexico c.mid 1980s, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Friend, gift from Ray Jardine to Jim Bridwell c.1979
Friend, gift from Ray Jardine to Jim Bridwell c.1979
Credit: karabin museum
Peggy and Jim Bridwell in Patagonia catalog
Peggy and Jim Bridwell in Patagonia catalog
Credit: karabin museum
Bridwell aluminum hooks and saw blade hooks c.1996, Jim Bridwell
Bridwell aluminum hooks and saw blade hooks c.1996, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
3 set Ring Angle Claw Hooks c.early 1960s, Jim Bridwell
3 set Ring Angle Claw Hooks c.early 1960s, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
A5 Monkey Paw c.1987, gift from John Middendorf to Jim Bridwell
A5 Monkey Paw c.1987, gift from John Middendorf to Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim Bridwell's hand drill c.1960s
Jim Bridwell's hand drill c.1960s
Credit: karabin museum
Homemade rivet hangers c.1998, Jim Bridwell
Homemade rivet hangers c.1998, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
1963/64 Chouinard Lost Arrow, found on Mooses Tooth, Alaska, Jim Bridw...
1963/64 Chouinard Lost Arrow, found on Mooses Tooth, Alaska, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
High Ten piton &#40;England&#41;, Dolt Pulley, New Alp carabiner, Face...
High Ten piton (England), Dolt Pulley, New Alp carabiner, Faces brass Gemstone #08
Credit: karabin museum
Mad Rock catalog, Jim Bridwell
Mad Rock catalog, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
Jim donated a pair of his EB shoes that he wore on many ascents in the 1970s, including the Dihedral Wall ascent.
EB shoes, Jim Bridwell
EB shoes, Jim Bridwell
Credit: karabin museum
I love my Bridwell climbing hold so much, I was able to get five more. The holds are made of wood, specially carved by Jim Bridwell, and then a layer of Bondo covers the wood. Jim used these holds on his climbing wall in Palm Desert, circa 1990s.
Climbing holds made by Jim Bridwell c.1990
Climbing holds made by Jim Bridwell c.1990
Credit: karabin museum
Climbing holds made by Jim Bridwell, signed
Climbing holds made by Jim Bridwell, signed
Credit: karabin museum
Jim Bridwell signature
Jim Bridwell signature
Credit: karabin museum
Climbing Adventures, A Climbers Passion, Jim Bridwell Book
Climbing Adventures, A Climbers Passion, Jim Bridwell Book
Credit: karabin museum
I have not seen Jim, Peggy, or Layton in years and I hope all is great with them. I just want to say THANKS to Jim for all of the contributions he has made toward the sport of rock climbing. THANKS for all of the fun and memories!

I am honored as host, to share your climbing tools to the world.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Aug 23, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
Wow, that's a helluva post!!


How old is Layton and what does he do with himself?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 23, 2014 - 02:02pm PT
Bitchin Bird Thread!
Hadn't seen this before,
Thanks for the bump.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Aug 23, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
He is the reason for the magic we experienced in Yosemite in the 70s; he was the mayor of C4, the hub of the Valley scene, the ringleader, the catalyst for the energy then. He deserves his due respect because of it. The most recent Rock and Ice has articles by and about him are worthy reads. Few have experienced or done what he has; few have what it takes!
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Aug 23, 2014 - 03:04pm PT
Can't say how old Layton is, but old enough to take care of his Mom and Dad and I'm not saying financially, but more importantly, loving and spending time with them. He creates art in many mediums and is a creator of things like his Dad. He is doing well as is Jim and Peggy.
Peace
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 23, 2014 - 04:30pm PT
Uh, Marty...thank you.
In the shadow of the Bird.
In the shadow of the Bird.
Credit: mouse from merced
We owe Jim every respect.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Aug 23, 2014 - 04:44pm PT
Thanks Ron, just curious.

My Layton is only 14 now.
Grinching

Trad climber
Happy Valley, Oregon
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:35pm PT
Survival,

The first guy I ever met at night out in El Cap meadow....

1977- Rob Lesher, Scott Davis and I were out under the stars having our minds blown by looking up at the big stone. Our first trip to Yosemite.

We sparked up a huge burnable, and watched as two guys kind of appeared out of the darkness. It was weird, I thought I'd be able to see someone coming from a mile off....kinda spooky actually. The smoke "made" them appear.

Conversation ensues. It becomes apparent that they are vastly more experienced than we are, but still very friendly and cool.

I finally asked the younger one how many times he'd been up there. "Uhh..about fifteen I think."

Eventually the talk shifted to style and grace. I made some comment about how I wanted to climb it clean, without pins and such. The older fellow gave a hearty laugh and said "Man, it's all about the f*ckin' sparks and the smell of granite dust.."

I thought it was a little rude and uncalled for, until it finally came out that I was sitting in El Cap meadow smoking my herb with Jim Bridwell and Ron Kauk.

It was awe inspiring and humbling to say the least. All I could do was dig my bag out and keep rolling. I think they talked us into burning half the weed we had for our entire trip in one conversation.

The good news is that he treated me well forever after that night. It was soooo worth it......

...that really happened? Thought I dreamed this. So long ago!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
Some of Jim's gear is still going strong.

I bought his Andinista pack a few years ago at Todd's fundraiser and after redoing Jim's funky and non functional repair of the bottom have been using it ever since.

It went over Bishop and Thunderbolt pass last weekend.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:44pm PT
I can remember Peggy pregnant in the late 70's, so Layton must be in his mid 30's.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:59pm PT
All I could do was dig my bag out and keep rolling. I think they talked us into burning half the weed we had for our entire trip in one conversation.

The good news is that he treated me well forever after that night. It was soooo worth it....

I have a similar story, only it was the Bird and Largo....

he is the BEST... was always interested in MY climbing.

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