Mike Waugh Appreciation List


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Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 14, 2009 - 01:04pm PT
I'm not sure we could call this a thread, because the guy has done something for everyone he knows. For me, Mike instantly included me as a friend when I showed up with a store in Chatsworth, and helped in multiple ways. True, he can't tell the difference between 11c and 5.9. but that is because has the highest strength to weight ratio of seemingly any human. I belayed Mike on his attempt to static Father Figure onsight.
Mike Waugh pulled on a tiny hold to his belly button, and then held it there! are you kidding me? Mike is really, really strong, a committed climber,how long is the list of those who have done the Bachar-Yerian 5 times? and, above all a giving and true friend. Hats off Mike! Ed

Nowhere in particular...and I'm going back soon...
Jul 14, 2009 - 01:25pm PT
Mike is one of the greatest all-round athletes I've ever met, much less one of the best climbers. He's also a remarkably generous friend, and as funny as they come.

You just have to be very careful around him at Halloween parties if he's drinking double and sporting a sword...


Trad climber
Jul 14, 2009 - 01:42pm PT
Forget his athleticism. Just an all around great guy. I remember some great chats with him in the TM parking lot and at the SAR site. Hard not to be smiling with a guy like that around. Where are you Waugh?!?
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Jul 14, 2009 - 01:58pm PT

Mike is fantastic!

Top of Intersection on a birthday/anniversary or something for the Waughs.....


Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jul 14, 2009 - 02:47pm PT
Mike is by far the nicest & hydraullically strong climber I have ever known. He is also very bold. Climbing runout routes like the Bachar Yerian, You Asked For it, etc. Free solos.

I did Space Babble with him in 1987 & he was so solid & sure. Whazoo is still out cranking hard & having fun every day. Well almost every day!

I gotta have some pics somewhere...
susan peplow

Jul 14, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
Agreed on all accounts!! Mike is freakishly strong and those blue blue eyes makes a girl swoon. Dedicated loving father, husband, public servant to boot. What a guy!

Russ, tell the story about us following Mike and Eddie Moe up Roseanne on Fairview. We'll let the folks here on the Taco guess who was the "b team"

Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2009 - 04:58pm PT
great Waugh pics Russ!

Big Wall climber
Jul 14, 2009 - 05:17pm PT
currently I think Waugh is the strongest climber at Stoney Point.
great guy knows his stuff. love hang'n with him.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jul 14, 2009 - 05:24pm PT
I climbed with Mike and Dan Hersmann in the meadows in the summer of 1978. Mike broke his wrist (arm?) in a fall on I think it was Sorcerer's Apprentice on Fairview. Because he couldn't climb, he ran down to the Valley and back from Tenaya Lake on the trail past
Cloud's Rest and Half Dome. Way energy!


Not here
Jul 14, 2009 - 05:26pm PT
Three Cheers to Mike,
He is a great climber, person, husband and friend. You can't get better than that. Plus he is married to one heck of a woman. Thanks for being you Mike.
Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Jul 14, 2009 - 05:53pm PT
Mini TR about Roseanne, with Waugh overtones:

So me and the Sooze are in the meadows for a few days and hook up with the squatters in "Camp Waugh". No idea how they do it but they are up there for months at a time..... anyway.... We have no real plan of action and Waugh and EddieMo say, "hey, lets's go do Roseanne tomorrow..... it's casual". I'm skeptical. Waugh is a known sandbagger and really too good of a climber to even guess how the other half lives, nevermind know how they live. I look at it in the book and decide "yeah, we can do that... it's 5.9... how hard can it be." Done deal... we'll go tomorrow.

Next day we rack up, which is odd for a face climb, and Waugh says some stuff that is starting to get me nervous....like, "got any small nuts? You might need them" and stuff like that.

The base is found and Waugh takes off, being sure to tell me to say close, "cause the "B" team might need some help." He floats the first pitch which you can pro in the corner, if you are in the corner.....

Here is Waugh on the first pitch, with the route drawn in:

Me and Sooze take off shortly after EddieMo is up near the belay of the first pitch. I am of course outside the corner and get like zero pro in and have to do some harrowing moves to clip the bolt at the top of the corner. I yell up for beta and I get back something like, "oh.... don't fall from there... you might deck." This is reassuring as I'm about 70ft up.

Sooze on the first pitch:

Finally I get over to the belay bolts at the top of #1. A "good job" rains down from the "A" team as they are well up the second pitch by now. Sooze come up and I get ready for the second pitch. Waugh is well above but waiting for me to cast off onto the glass.... yeah... I'm not that solid on this stuff.

Pitch 2 glass:

After getting established above the belay I am being directed by the Wazoo and Emoe to where I can wiggle in a TCU and wired before committing to the traverse that gets you into a big corner that will take some pro. I think they are laughing up there..... Some standard hair raising edging and puling will land you at the belay.

For pitch #3, Waugh offers up that if my eyes are good, I might find the old rusted 1/4"er up on the third pitch.... "but it won't hold a fall" he adds. Hopefully the crappy nuts behind a flake will take the teeth out of any 150ft fall I might have in mind. These Tuolumne guys are nuts.....

Looking up pitch #3:

The top of this route is capped by a roof. Waugh is calling it "maybe 5.4"..... I'm thinking "bullcrap... that thing is 11d if I've ever seen it." The "A" team has now disappeared over the summit. I take off out of the belay and start searching for the bolt.... I find it, and they were right... what a piece of crap! I wouldn't hang wet socks over a fire on that hardware... but I clip it anyway. The slot through the roof is right above me.... and eyes be damned, it might actually be 5.4! Thank Satan! The roof goes easily and there is the "A" team on top waiting for us.... knowing we would either be lost or die on the descent.

Summit roof exit:

What a great day out! For sure one of the best days out that entire year, and me and Sooze owe it all to Mike Waugh. Just having him up there above us, point out the pro opportunities, and cheering us on with "ho man... don't fall THERE" encouragement dragged me up from a semi solid Tuolumne 5.8c leader to a 5.9r-beta-from-above hardman! Thanks Mike!

Nowhere in particular...and I'm going back soon...
Jul 14, 2009 - 06:06pm PT
Mike does have an inspiring reputation of being a Donini-Don't-Do-Anchors with the pro. Powell told me once that if Mikey carries more than 3 pieces with him on a route in TM, it's only because he's thinking about bivying. ;-)
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
way, WAY out there....(OMG)
Jul 14, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
Right on for the Waugh.......WooHoo!!!

Big Wall climber
Jul 14, 2009 - 06:25pm PT
some f*#kers were throwing bottles off the top of Stoney point. Waugh waited for them to get back to their car. He then beat the sh#t out of those (told'em not to do that because of the climbers down below). waugh saved the day!

Social climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jul 14, 2009 - 07:41pm PT
Mike truly is one of the best...climber and friend. I met Mike at Stoney in the 70's and as this list shows, the stories are endless. I take some credit in introducing Mike to Brenda one weekend in Lee Vining. A couple of weeks later we watched him lead Stairway to Heaven in Sorels with crampons sort of tied on. She should have known what she was getting into.

Next year Mike will join my wife and I, sailing from Panama to the South Pacific. There are few, if any, people we would want to be on a small boat with for 30 days. We are looking forward to having Mike aboard.

Here's to you, Mike. See you soon in the Meadows.

joshua tree, ca
Jul 14, 2009 - 08:10pm PT
I love Mike and Brenda Waugh! They throw great parties, they know how to camp in comfort, they are fun to climb with and fun to travel with. I really miss seeing you. Maybe when I get settled in Alaska you will come up and party.

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2009 - 08:20pm PT
Mike is one of the greats that I had the honor to watch at Stoney when I was just a pup. I latter became a fireman and worked with him on occasion at the station in Chatsworth. He was always helpful both at Stoney giving me beta on a problem or at work.


Was it you who had the climbing shop on Topanga Cyn down the road from Stoney in the mid 80's?

Kevin Mokracek

Jul 14, 2009 - 11:40pm PT
Man, Mike Waugh was so kind to me when I was growing up down in the San Fernando Valley. Bouldering with him at Stoney was great, always learned something new from him.

I am not sure where I was, but I remember Bachar making a comment about Mike "That dude's rad" That pretty much sums it up.

Jul 14, 2009 - 11:51pm PT
Mike Waugh will walk up to you as an ordinary man with an amazing extraordinary person underneath.

The guy is a mind blower.

Social climber
The Greeley Triangle
Jul 14, 2009 - 11:56pm PT
Know the name - can't place the face. BITD pics anyone?
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