Chuck Pratt

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guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 5, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
DR recently asked me to repost this onto this thread, so here it is.

Climbing Art magazine.

Excerpts from an interview Mort Hempel did in 1986, titled "Minstrel of Despairs." Pat Ament was the interviewer in this wonderful and insightful passage into the life of Mort.

Credit: guido
Credit: guido








JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
Jun 6, 2013 - 12:40am PT
Bump for awesome
stunewberry

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Jun 8, 2013 - 10:13am PT
bump, again. Read every word. Worth keeping on the first page forever.
Anastasia

climber
Home
Jun 8, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
Wow Doug... I hope when I go, you are around to write something so beautiful too. :) That is such an incredible tribute.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Jun 8, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Hard to believe that I've missed this thread till now. I've read nearly every word here, shed some tears over the eloquence and love express here, I'm humbled without words of my own to add. Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread and to sharing your views of Chuck's life. I do have a few photos to add:

Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969
Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969
Credit: BooDawg

Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969
Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969
Credit: BooDawg

Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969.
Chuck Pratt, C4, 1969.
Credit: BooDawg

Chuck Pratt and Jeff Dozier &#40;Dr Deeg&#41;, C4, 1969 wearing two of...
Chuck Pratt and Jeff Dozier (Dr Deeg), C4, 1969 wearing two of the sheepskin coats that Dozier had brought back from Afghanistan.
Credit: BooDawg

Hennek, Denny, Pratt, 1969, C4.
Hennek, Denny, Pratt, 1969, C4.
Credit: BooDawg

Chuck Pratt, Summit of Sentinel Rock. Morning after FA of Gobi Wall, 1...
Chuck Pratt, Summit of Sentinel Rock. Morning after FA of Gobi Wall, 1969.
Credit: BooDawg

Chuck Pratt, C4, Afternoon after FA of Gobi Wall, 1969.
Chuck Pratt, C4, Afternoon after FA of Gobi Wall, 1969.
Credit: BooDawg
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Nice photos. Thanks for those. Incidentally, the interview of
Mort, called "Minstrel of Despairs," was mine, in the
Climbing Art....

Good to see this thread come up again, to remember our friend.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
1969 was the last year I ever saw Pratt. It must have been right around the time these photos were taken as that is exactly how I remember him. Thank you for posting them and once again bringing back the memories.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 9, 2013 - 10:45pm PT
Rest day, Tetons summer of 71 with Hennek, Mavis Jukes, Trish dah Dish, Chuck and Dennis Mennek(sic) and lots of Kimchi.........
Hennek and Mavis
Hennek and Mavis
Credit: guido
Mavis and Chuck
Mavis and Chuck
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Trish and Chuck
Trish and Chuck
Credit: guido



BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 9, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Over on youtube there is a seven part interview of him in the early eighties when he was guiding in the Tetons. You can tell that it was torture for him, but he chugs beers and makes it through the ordeal.

I remember turning 18 in the Moose Bar in the tetons and going to the bar for my first legal beer. It was in the middle of the day and Pratt was the only other guy in the bar, a few seats down. He seemed to be deep in thought as he nursed a red wine, so we didn't bug him, but of course we recognized him.

It's funny in that interview, because he looks younger than I do now.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jun 11, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
Bump
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 11, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Bump
Mimi

climber
Dec 28, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
DR on Chuck Pratt holiday bump!
T H

Boulder climber
ne'erdowell
Feb 8, 2017 - 10:17pm PT
bump
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 9, 2017 - 10:45am PT
To the top, of this slag heap...

keep the climbing on top.

flush the other garbage..
plund

Social climber
OD, MN
Feb 9, 2017 - 11:12am PT
All of ST's posturing, butthurt, vitriol, stupidity, spray & politics are redeemed by this treasure of a thread. Thanks tons, old(er) dads!
LongAgo

Trad climber
Feb 9, 2017 - 11:10pm PT
Don't come onto Supertopo much these days, but for this one, yes.

What Doug said, way back at the beginning:

"The climbing scene revolved around his presence like a kingpin. If Robbins and Harding propelled the vision of those fruitful times, Pratt was its moral force, or maybe its strength of character. He was like the calm at the center of that whirlwind of creativity.."

Chuck seemed to know something the rest of us were missing and wished to have: deep sense of the meaning and essence of the game beyond much of what trapped us in the circle of best yet, better yet, comparisons of one sort or another.

I remember him coming to me a few times at a Camp 4 table, late afternoon, ambling over in the dust filtered sun to take account of some first ascent or first free ascent for his notebook. He smiled, asked for a little write up or made notes himself based on what I said. His face spoke with appreciation and respect as if to say good job.

But behind the smile or the eyes was something else. He didn't probe about how it went, or ask how the rating compared to anything or put himself or other climbs in the equation. The subtext was here we are, climbing rocks, fellow clowns nearly, jotting down our little lines in the sky, enormously absurd but thankfully away from the flat world below, some thinking it all noble, others giving it only a small smile like his. And, on we go.

At the time, I hardly knew how true and strong his take was against so much competition and egotism hanging in the air, and the rising commercialism and popularity of climbing on the horizon. It was only after his death that I caught up with his vision and of course wish now I could have a very long beer with him, maybe on a rock in the talus slope up from Camp 4, as I once did with him long ago when I knew so very little.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 10, 2017 - 03:44am PT
And yet I wonder....Chuck was the most gifted rock climber of the "Yosemite Golden Age" generation, he climbed with great composure and an effortless grace. He was also a fine writer. What could have been had he not withdrawn from cutting edge climbing and writing at such a young age?
Everyone persues their life as they see best and I am sure that Chuck had his reasons for withdraing from the stage. He seemed happy enough in those last years in the Tetons surrounded by an admiring bevy of adoring "Chuck's girls." Yet, still I wonder.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 10, 2017 - 07:32am PT
A statement in itself, eh, Jim?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 10, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
Higgins and Donini, two Masters of the Game writing about Pratt the reclusive, king of kings and hardly known by the current generation. We can all learn from Chuck, too bad he didn't write more........
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 10, 2017 - 04:13pm PT
Chuck was the paradigm of the tragic hero. He was physically and mentally gifted but ill suited for modern America. Crass materialism, the worship of the almighty dollar and the loud shouts of "look at me!" drove him into a reclusive, gentle life that he shared with a very few friends.
Everyone touched by him held him in high regard. The turnout at his memorial in the Tetons was huge.....and this for a man who absoluetly shunned noteriety and lived a very quiet and private life.
His life should be a lesson for climbers today....you don't have to blow your horn, if your life has real substance the horn blows for you.
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