To Be Brave - Royal Robbins Autobiography

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Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 9, 2009 - 01:33am PT
This has just been published - the first volume of Robbins' autobiography. To Be Brave: My Life The book will be available on September 1st, and includes photographs by Glen Denny. See http://www.royalrobbinsthebook.com/index.php

It is being published by Pink Moment Press - http://www.pinkmomentpress.com

A copy donated and signed by Robbins is in the auction for Tyrus Bachar, and should fetch a good price.
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:26am PT
I"m very much lookin' fwd to this book !
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:38am PT
Thanks for letting us know.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 03:25am PT
Great news.

I've always enjoyed his writing, and had hoped he would write this someday.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Aug 9, 2009 - 07:30am PT
I could totally get into a book about Robbins life, but this is the 1st in a series of 6!!! What does he do, detail his daily morning constitutions? I think I'll wait until it comes out to see if it's readable.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 9, 2009 - 12:02pm PT
I could totally get into a book about Robbins life, but this is the 1st in a series of 6!!! What does he do, detail his daily morning constitutions?

That was my first thought too, until I looked at the XXX title for the last four. I'd always thought he was a bit of a prude, but if 2/3 of his autbiography is XXX... Well maybe.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
crimping through the start of the Generator
Aug 9, 2009 - 12:09pm PT
Largo?

AO sez you wrote this one up already, we'd love to hear your take.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2009 - 12:17pm PT
Seems pretty clear that a second volume is planned, but beyond that it's hard to tell. An apparent six volumes may just be an artefact of the webpage design. I don't remember any climbers whose autobiography was more than one volume, although some (Shipton, Hillary) wrote memoirs at quite dispersed dates. (Hillary's first autobiography was 1954 or so, then another in the early 2000s.) Still, audience attention-spans may not extend to more than perhaps two volumes.

A price of $19.95 suggests relatively short volumes, especially given good photos, although it may just be that it's a paperback, and privately published and distributed. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what develops.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 9, 2009 - 12:56pm PT
I have a copy but have resisted reading it so that it stays in mint condition for the Tyrus auction. Yes, it is a smaller paper back book. Looks great
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2009 - 12:58pm PT
Sure you didn't just pop it open, you know, to check that all the pages are there, and maybe look at the pictures? :-)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Aug 9, 2009 - 01:21pm PT
does this supercede his first Bio ?? cuz I have a signed copy of that one! LOL
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 9, 2009 - 01:25pm PT
here is the cover photo taken?

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:41pm PT
> [w]here is the cover photo taken?

Yosemite Valley (Sentinel spliced/lowered on L, Cathedrals in middle, El Cap on R), but with railroad tracks spliced in.

Must be symbolic of something?
Maybe about how events in his youth set the wheels in motion for him to end up with his many adventures in Yosemite.

Bring on the volumes, if that's what it takes to get this into print!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:46pm PT
Hitching the rail with Pat Ament?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2009 - 02:55pm PT
RR has (I believe) been based in Modesto since the 1960s. But he was born in West Virginia, and raised in Los Angeles.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:58pm PT
How many lives has Royal had to do six volumes? I mean I know he used up a couple in the Valley, but has he been listening to Werner to much? What will the last volumne be about, how to design clothing?
I say all this with the greatest repect, tongue in cheek, as Royal is the man!
Bad Climber

climber
Aug 9, 2009 - 04:30pm PT
Er, that title is a bit much, isn't it? The guy does have a monster ego. Good climber, though! I still wish I had my copy of Advanced Rock Craft. I suspect this current volume is pretty well written.

My autobiography will be coming out soon:

To Be Awesome: My Life

or

To Be Studly

or

To Be Really, Really, Really, Really Good Looking

or

To Be Having Endless Hot Sex with Platoons of Super Models!

Oh, I kill me.

bAd
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2009 - 04:37pm PT
Don't we all hope to be brave? Isn't that part of what climbing's all about?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 07:13pm PT
> Er, that title is a bit much, isn't it? The guy does have a monster ego.

Please explain how an ambition to be brave suggests a monster ego. I don't see a connection.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:46pm PT
Really, Bad Climber, I have to agree with Clint. Bad Climber, just wait until the book is out; we may actually be surprised by a change in posture by Royal. Believe me, I too will read it with a very critical eye....as far as struggling to be brave, Royal never concealed his apprehensions and snaileye moments; he was straightforward about that aspect.
Katie_I

Mountain climber
Wyoming
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:53pm PT
I'm partway through reading it. It's very honest, very humble and beautifully written. Spare, luminous, self-questioning prose. One of the better climbing memoirs I've read (so far). I'll post more when I get a chance to finish it.

As for six volumes, didn't Marcel Proust need a few, himself? =)
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 9, 2009 - 11:46pm PT
Yeah, I reviewed To Be Brave for Rock and Ice. I gave it five stars out of a possible five. I couldn't put it down. The guy found just the right tone and it pulled him right through. Great stuff.

JL
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Aug 10, 2009 - 12:37am PT
Robbins is a great part of the history that is climbing, I once got to speak with him and Harding at the same time back at a trade show very interesting considering the fude de-la-early morning light and all,, I remember Warren had this young Nasty looking Blond on his sholder the whole time, Hair swept back lookin like the devil himself!!!! It was a treasure and hillarious at the same time, the luaghing and simo-gritting of the teeth was almost tooo much at times LOL!!! iT was all done for the show of it these guys know how to milk a good thing!!!!
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 07:47pm PT
though this is not the most accurate thread for this, it's where I was! I had encountered the posts on old Ascent issues, and wanted to offer my efforts at recirculating climbing literature of the past. I've put in substantial time over the years archiving Climbing, Climb, Ascent, R&I, etc. and would be happy to share these in whatever form! I'll be traveling to Modesto in the next month, and could scan and send then. Let me know what would be of interest!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 08:01pm PT
Do you have "Cutting Canadian Capers", from Summit magazine of the 1960s? That is a cool article; maybe hard to find, though. Steve Grossman seems to have a good collection of Summits, so he may have it.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 08:02pm PT
BTW, Bad Climber, I can say with complete and total assurance that the last thing Royal (my father) has is a "monster ego". Perhaps you have misread or mistook information about him... ? though not a climber myself, I do have a bit of insight into the nature of the beast - and feel safe saying that generally climbers (especially the most renowned) LACK a monster ego. When Dad, et al were excelling at climbing, it was far from a coveted "profession" - not much in the way of fame and fortune to be sought there! Regardless, I look forward to hearing your reaction to "To Be Brave", and hope you enjoy the read!
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 08:06pm PT
I don't know exactly what's in the archives from here (Moab) - but will check for that when I'm at the homestead in a few weeks. I can say with certainty that the collection of Summit issues is extensive!
Bad Climber

climber
Aug 12, 2009 - 08:38pm PT
Tamara et al: I look forward to reading the book. As I said, I really enjoyed the Rock Craft effort and expect this to be even better given his greater perspective on everything with the passage of years.

Re. ego: I think going up to chop Wall of the Early Morning Light speaks for itself. His encounters with Batso are infamous. Still, I hold no personal ill will against him. He has always been a climbing hero of mine--as was Batso! :) This book will certainly be part of my library.

BaD
Brian

climber
Cali
Aug 12, 2009 - 08:45pm PT
If I recall correctly, RR told me that he used to jump trains hobo-style as a kid. He told me that he once tried to jump from one train on to a train going in the opposite direction, in his words "an intelligence test that I failed." I don't know if those stories are in any other collection of his work. He told me the stories after a slideshow years ago. Maybe some of those train-jumpin stories are in the book?

Brian
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 09:12pm PT
Train hopping? You betcha! Hence the tracks spliced in.... :)
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 12, 2009 - 09:13pm PT
I would love to read a "single volume" autobiography of RR"s life. He was an amazing climber who blazed a trail still being followed by contemporary climbers. But let's put things in perspective, Royal's major contributions to climbing covered a decade and a half. I haven't seen any biographies of Einstein, Ghandi or Churchill that spanned six volumes.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 09:15pm PT
BaD: BTW, I believe all accounts of the W.ofEML contained Dad's ultimate respect for Harding's line and humilty about the whole endeavor? Perhaps I'm mistaken?
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 09:20pm PT
I want to be clear that I am NOT speaking on my father's behalf... but from what I know, the multi-volume format has more to do with a new and interesting "approach" than anything.
jstan

climber
Aug 12, 2009 - 10:32pm PT
It is a great time when a seminal figure still lives. That way there can be new exciting discoveries every day.

The truth? It may be 100 years before we really can view things in a way that stands the test of time.

We need to be patient.

I know that is asking a lot from a climber.

But there it is.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 12, 2009 - 10:53pm PT
I for one (of many) am truly looking forward to reading this book.

I really appreciated what he said at the Bachar memorial and am intrigued to see what else he has to say, considering all the stuff he's done and places he's been.
Gene

climber
Aug 12, 2009 - 10:56pm PT
I'm glad you came to our campfire, Tamara. Stick around please.

gm
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 12, 2009 - 11:10pm PT
Thank you Tamara for your unexpected contributions here. How fun it is to hear from Royal and Liz’s first child. I was with your father quite a bit before, during and just after you were born...much to say there. What was it, 1971? It was a huge moment for him and it took him many months to get ready for you, their first birth.

Everyone else, just wait for the book. They have published this themselves of course, so keep that in mind. There will be plenty to talk about when we can all read it. There will be more there than you anticipate. He is going to try to interpret what he has lived through.

I am sure he has done a good job. He may attempt to rewrite some history; he may not. That would be tempting.

The guy could be the best friend you could ever hope for; he also could be a wretch----even Ament has indicated this a few times in his biography. The main thing was he always was trying to figure everything out anew and it wasn’t easy back then. I am also very grateful he came to the John Bachar memorial.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Aug 13, 2009 - 01:32am PT
To Be Brave...

Royal was a Boy Scout (started climbing in the scouts)... it's from the scout law -

"A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, BRAVE, clean, and reverent."

Seems more like a summoning up of some courage to do something heroic and daring, not braggadocio. There was also moral courage to be different and climb clean. But maybe that's a stretch? Dunno.

Royal is rad.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 13, 2009 - 01:51am PT
OK, so who growled down to Royal from the lead complaining about his choice of pins to send up and and said,

"Everything but what I need!"
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:06am PT
Tamara, thanks for putting in your thoughts. Your dad set a high standard and shaped the way many of us tried to climb. A game needs rules and he helped write the book.

Best to you,

Todd
WBraun

climber
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:15am PT
Tamara

When I first started climbing around in Yosemite I always wanted those blue Royal Robbins boots made by Galibier after only having Sears work boots as climbing shoes.

Anyways one summer in Tuolumne everyone I saw wearing a pair of those blue boots I would first think it was Royal.

Never did see him.

Until one day that summer I was hitchhiking some where, forgot where, and a VW bus stopped and the guy said get in.

It was your dad ......

Bridwell told me how Royal eliminated bolts by lowering off a ledge because the pins were in the bottom back and you couldn't haul standing up. I thought that was so stupid and so cool at the same time that I employed this method on a new route myself once.

I wouldn't care to much about what others think about your dad if I were you. He's your dad and that's all that matters.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 13, 2009 - 04:07am PT
Wow, Little Tamara

I was living with your mom and dad in Modesto when you were born. Royal was off on a "work" trip to Europe and I was the defacto dad while LIz adjusted to being a new momma.

Good on you, stick up for the OL' Boy. You have two very creative and powerful parents and irrespective of the climbing parameters, you were fortunate to be raised by the likes of Royal and Lizard. We could all be so lucky?

As far as the Wall of the Early Morning Light saga and the second ascent by Royal and Lauria, enough has been written and it is well documented as to the difficulty and the respect the endeavor entailed.

Perhaps someday we will get a chance to meet again, " although I would probably not recognize you."

cheers

Guido
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 13, 2009 - 10:34am PT
Right on, bump for the brave - the only thing better than a climbing thread is a thread about a climbing book!

At the moment I can only think of Marcel Proust whose autobio was done in volumes - maybe Dostoevsky ? - anyow, can't wait for the book to arrive...
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 12:20pm PT
As far as the issue of “how many volumes are we going to see from this man” and how perhaps no past giants of any sort have gone to six volumes, Pilgrims, you are neglecting the great Le Roi Jones (Amiri Baraka). He issued his “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” in 1961. V. funny title of course and it was just his first coyly titled collection of verse. But seriously, I think it is the default listing template of the apparently “vanity” publisher, “Pink Moment Press”. (Not at all clear what else they have published by the way....) The second volume is “Fail Falling” which I would guess is going to be more on his fun arcane and cryptic theory that we let go rather than actually simply fall (yawn).

If nothing else, let me assure you the man has had a lot of fun being alive!!

For the herpetologists amongst us: here is Chris Vandiver and RR about 1972-ish. Take a close look at it. Vandiver was quite absorbed by and with RR.

And next is RR beheading a Matilija Poppy out in the desert north of Kelso, 1970/71 winter when he and I were on a kind of road trip that hardly involved climbing but was all about RR trying to get his mind around the fact his wife was pregnant.



Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2009 - 01:44pm PT
Well, I'm still looking forward to getting a copy of each volume - even if there are as many 'chapters' as there were in Bleak House, and they're more booklets than books.

Edit: Tamara, I've met your father once or twice, in the context of climbers' access matters. I saw him speak in Vancouver in 1971, when I was starting to climb, and you were being born.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 01:55pm PT
THis is way too much fun... I'm so enjoying all the posts! And love hearing from you who knew me/family early on. I remember Chris & Terry well - would love to get in contact with them (Peter, do you know how to do this?).

FYI, Pink Moment Press is a new leg of Pace Lithography (a well established printing co. in So Cal). I believe the owners are on the Yos. Fund board - that's where they met Mom & Dad.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:03pm PT
Hi Tamara,

Welcome to the forum. I have never met you but have gotten to know your mom and dad pretty well. Above all your dad is honest and true to what he believes. I admire those qualities.

Ken Yager
RDB

Social climber
way out there
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:09pm PT
I am really looking forward to this.

Volumes? If you know anything about Robbin's career in climbing and business it becomes obvious he packed a lot into a short amount of time. I'd think volumes would be required just to cover it all with any depth.

Spring/summer of '67 was nothing special for Robbins....1st ascent of Nutcracker then the 1st ascent of the West Face of El Cap followed. The 1st ascent of the Grand Sentinal in Canada, VI, an early repeat with Liz of NW Face of Half Dome, 1st North Face of Geike another VI and the 1st solo (2rd ascent) of Edith Cavell.

Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:12pm PT
Just off the phone with Dad, he said, " I think you should write that this all confirms what we already knew: That 1971 was a marvelous year " :)
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Aug 13, 2009 - 02:13pm PT
What a cool thread. I can't wait to read it - I shall devour the words right off the page.

He resonates through all our lives, this climber. His influence on American rock climbing cannot be overstated.

DMT
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 13, 2009 - 03:00pm PT
Here is a photo of Liz and Royal at the Granite Frontiers opening.


Ken
Gene

climber
Aug 13, 2009 - 03:04pm PT
Repost of Royal when he visited Modesto High School earlier this year.



RR sure has a great smile.
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Aug 13, 2009 - 03:54pm PT
Tamara - Yer dad Rocks. He was not only a great climber but a great community builder , loved the clothing put out under his name.........and, best of all, he's still with us.

I've met him on a couple of occasions - one memorable occasion at the ACC Centennial dinner where I did a slightly out of control performance on stilts as the eight-foot tall "Zelda". Royal was one of the people in the audience pissin' himself laffin' at the sillyness. Yey !

Good to see mentioned upthread of the most marvelous Blue Suede Shoes. I had a pair - bought in '78 - and, after they broke my feet in, were the most marvelous hiking/climbing shoes I ever owned. They were good on EVERYTHING. I finally destroyed them to oblivion out treeplanting in the late '80's.

Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 03:58pm PT
You know, we don't even possess a pair of the Galibier boots. Fortunately, I do have some wonderful old ads (which I've scanned in) for them, as well as for a sundry of other "ancient" gear! Most of Dad's historical gear was lost in a fire... very unfortunate.

Nice to hear a recount of Dad's sense of humor - I have some great shots of similar home moments - it kills me when he does the hysterical laughter. And due to broken ribs in the past it "kills" him too... but well worthwhile! :)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2009 - 04:39pm PT
Not only that, he's a devotee of the fine and noble art of the pun. What's not to like?

Here's your dad at the 2007 FaceLift, with Tom Frost and John Stannard. The first time all three had met in person.

The photo is also on the YCA website.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
Some of my favorite photos courtesy of Tom Frost.

On top of the Nose and sitting on the tree that fell over about a week after Harding completed the climb. 1960


The rest are on the Salathe. I love the casual belay. 1961



On the Salathe rapping off after getting to Lung Ledge. Frost said that Royal must have really studied the route as "Royal grabbed the ropes and just started rappelling down the void much to our amazement".



Royal grabbing the ropes prior to rappelling.



Royal is very comfortable.



The summit. Royal and Pratt do not look too happy.



Enjoy,
Ken
Gene

climber
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:33pm PT
Ken,

Is that a Dulfersitz rap off El Cap? Mercy!

Brave.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:38pm PT
Hi Tamara,

Welcome to SuperTopo. This is a picture of you, your mom and dad, your dad's guides at RockCraft and the clients.

Say hi to Liz and Royal.



Dawn Erb is sitting on her dad's (Dick) lap on the right. Judy, her mom, is on the far right, second row. Others you may know or have heard of: Chuck Pratt is on the far right top row. Chris Vandiver is on the far left second row. I am the second from the left in the top row. This RockCraft session was in the Balls in Southern Yosemite. Fun times.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:38pm PT
At least he has a prusik backup.

Ken
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:47pm PT
Another classic.


Ken
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:55pm PT
Having trouble posting photos... help?? Was trying to copy and paste from iphoto, but that doesn't seem to work. Thanks!
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 05:58pm PT
Roger, thanks for the great pic! I remember Dawn - there are some old pics of the two of us around camp. send more if you have them!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2009 - 05:59pm PT
See http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=897941&msg=897971#msg897971 for detailed information on posting photos.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 13, 2009 - 06:17pm PT
Tamara-

I only met your parents once or twice in Camp 4 since they were in Europe when I arrived in California in the early '60's and then my husband and I also went to Europe in 1969.

I have always been more curious about your mother than your father whose record is so well known. There were very few of us women climbers in those days and she set the standards for many years. I was always amazed that she could beat out all those pitons when she seconded Half Dome. That was hard manual labor for a woman who looked as delicate as she did.

Has she written anything about those times? If not, please encourage her to do so as we need a lot more done about the early days of women climbers in America. When you mention it to her, she'll recognize my name.

Jan Sacherer
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 13, 2009 - 07:47pm PT
Per RR writing multi-volumes. It's not that RR feels his exploits are "worth" six or seven volumes (though they ae to some of us), rather he is approaching this project as a writing adventure and a voyage of self discovery. Climbing is merely a vehicle and at times, a metaphor for the other issues he wants to explore. IOW, the guy feels like he has six volumes of material in him. That he will be talking about climbing some of the time is incidental to the through line: what does it mean to be alive?

Six volumes can barly scratch the surface of that one . . .

JL
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 13, 2009 - 11:51pm PT
John - your simple, eloquent reply sums it all up.... my gratitude...
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 14, 2009 - 10:21pm PT
http://s946.photobucket.com/albums/ad306/tamara2009_02/?action=view¤t=Tam1975.jpg
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 14, 2009 - 10:50pm PT
We shall see. "The History of the Fall and Decline of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons was also six volumes.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 14, 2009 - 11:01pm PT
Tamara,

I say this because I first met your parents...September of 1966... and spent a bunch of time with them in the formative years of your family businesses. Perhaps here or in a different thread, could you--- on your own----please give us more of these images (and script?) from long ago?. This was an interesting time, Tamara, when you had just arrived and then grew. Some 38 years ago. It is a great opportunity for you, but for us all here as well, certainly!

Here is your very wonderful photo from 1975, cleaned up. You look so much like Liz:



Peter Haan
jstan

climber
Aug 14, 2009 - 11:41pm PT
I think we need some history here. One night I slept in a barn in the
Shenandoah. The next morning the farmer came out and told us how they had
to move all the stock into the hills every time Phil Sheridan came through. Now
Phil was a banty rooster and the Virginians were very proud of Robert E. After
more than 100 years I could still hear the Virginian contempt. West Virginian's
did not want to be dragged into someone else's war, especially if they were
acting so damned superior. And they weren't dragged into it. I was in a
political/high technology meeting once run by someone from the mountain
state. A horsefly was cruising around until the discussion leader rolled up his
sunday paper and slammed it down on the poor fly. His point made he said,
"You were saying?"

It is good to know that there are people whose central core may be tied to
issues being confronted.

Now Tamara, from my own experience I will construct something regarding
yourself. Minutes after my daughter was born she looked up at me and I knew
what she was thinking, To wit, "Just what is your function at this little
ceremony?" To some degree I had been dealing with the question of how some
one so much like me could be a girl. That ended with the look. Even though
just a placid New York State boy my universe had been turned on its head, in an
instant.

OK. So if I may. Your dad can, and will, write any (......) thing he pleases.

I leave the West Virginia words to your imagination.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2009 - 02:04am PT
Well, Gibbons' The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire did, with all due respect, cover considerably more in its six chunky volumes than it is likely that Royal has to say, even given the tendency of 18th century historians to go on and on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire

At least in English-language autobiographies and biographies of climbers, I haven't seen any that are more than one volume. Although most are the traditional 200 - 300 pages, at least somewhat ghost written, and stretch to fill the space. Somehow I don't think that Royal will have any difficulty filling say six booklets of 100 or so pages each. Looking forward to it, and that sure is a nice picture of Tamara upthread.
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 16, 2009 - 04:28pm PT
Hi, everybody. I am kind of new at the "social media" but I am willing to learn. First of all, many thanks to my defenders, especially my daughter, Tamara, who is even more beautiful now than she was in that picture taken so many years ago. And thanks to Largo (John Long) for his eloquent and kind words. If John likes what I have written that means a lot to me as in my opinion he wrote the best climbing short story ever written ("The Only Blasphemy"), an account of soloing with John Bachar in Joshua Tree. Thanks, John. I see I stand accused of having a monster ego. Tamara has defended me well on that charge, but I would have pleaded "Guilty". Who cares? My main question would be "Is he or she honest?". I think that honesty is the real measure of the person, and of writing.
rick d

climber
tucson, az
Aug 16, 2009 - 04:46pm PT
welcome RR!

stay and sit a spell.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 16, 2009 - 05:01pm PT
Glad to see you chime in here Royal. There really isn’t much to this “social media” thing. The hardest part may be issues surrounding the anonymity of the internet. I am also very glad you are participating on this forum. Too many of us older climbers aren’t yet contributing even when it would be a great thing to take part---- everyone would benefit.

How fun that Tamara also is here. Many of us are looking forward to reading your latest work and of course the anticipation might be getting the better of some. I am sure it is going to be a great read. I know how very important writing is and has been to you so hearing from you again now in later years should be fascinating especially since you seem to imply that because honesty is the vital principle in writing or your writing, there will be some very frank and open accounting of this enormous life you have been living.


Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Aug 16, 2009 - 05:20pm PT
Welcome RR! I doubt if you remember, we met briefly at Lover's Leap a long time ago. You had a group of Boy Scouts (I think) there.

At least 15 years ago you gave a talk at UC Santa Cruz. I apologize (very belatedly) for having had vaguely negative preconceived notions about you when I walked in the lecture hall, but I have to say it was one of the most inspiring presentations I have ever seen. I walked out of the lecture hall a better person with my sights set a little higher.

Roger - do you know if that the same Dawn Erb in the photograph who grew up to be an astronomer?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Aug 16, 2009 - 05:38pm PT
Royal, Welcome to the "taco stand." We've sure appreciated you and your presentations here in Santa Rosa for the Rock Ice Mountain Club. Thanks for the laughs and perspectives.

See you at Pinecrest.

Cheers,
Jerry
hooblie

climber
Aug 16, 2009 - 05:48pm PT
honesty. sounds like a great start. throw it up, and like a rorschach, it defends itself. this may just be the free-est land in the world of letters. so many ways to approach it, i hope you try enough of them to amuse yourself. we'll tag along in a sort of staggered realtime. glad to have a second chance to be among your contemporaries, in a kind of ephemeral rough and tumble. now that i'm thinking about it, seems like it will be a great fit, good call
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Aug 16, 2009 - 07:03pm PT

Basic Rockcraft(1971) $1.95

Advanced Rockcraft(1973) $2.95

Royal Robbins .........Priceless!



Mt. Pacifico, Because RR was there.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 16, 2009 - 08:28pm PT
Hi Pops! Nice to see you here. Phew.... now you can take over... :) -just kidding, all....-
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Aug 16, 2009 - 08:28pm PT
Hey is that Royal in one of Simon's BAT shirts?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 16, 2009 - 08:56pm PT
Hi Royal,

I look forward to reading your new book given the favorable comments here, especially given its writerly focus.

Best, Roger
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Aug 16, 2009 - 09:31pm PT
Well, Royall, the Taco can now honestly claim to have enticed two Robbins into the nest. It was good to see you at John's memorial, and good to hear your words. Wish we had gotten a moment to chat but it was a busy time with so many good folks to catch up with. Hopefully there will be another time in the future.

Your autobiography, of course, has been anxiously awaited for years by those of us who've been so positively influenced by your climbing career (earlier), and lately by the emergence of what seems to be a truly wise and deeply compassionate side of yourself. Whatever form you choose to tell your story and share your insights, you will find an avid audience of old fogies and young upstarts ready to devour as many words and volumes as it takes.

All the best to you and Tamara!

-JelloIsJeffLowe
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 16, 2009 - 09:51pm PT
Welcome Royal!

Although you probably don't remember me (you being, at the time, one of the Olympians whereas I never made it past Apprentice Kitchen Deity), we met on two occasions and climbed together once.

We first met in Chicago around 1965 or 66---you gave a slide show and were kind enough to socialize with the star-struck youth of the University of Chicago Mountaineering Club. You had, apparently, made a trip to the Needles (the South Dakota Needles) and had repeated the rather run-out route Don Storjohann and I did on the Needle's Eye in 1964. (I've posted an account of this climb here on Supertopo...) Your comment was that you were surprised at the difficulty because you had never heard of us, a comment that made perfect sense in those days: there were few enough climbers that it was possible to imagine that one knew everyone who was any good.

Perhaps a year later, we met in the Gunks and climbed Matinee together. You led the crux second pitch (now rated a somewhat sandbagged 5.10d) and I fell off trying to imitate your method, which involved a burly fingertip layback. On my second try I did some tenuous stemming, which is how I've done that pitch ever since---I really ought to have tried laybacking it at least once more...

As Peter has noted, virtually none of the forefathers of the Golden Age of Yosemite has participated in an on-line discussion group. Your presence here is already unique, as is the one-two punch of a father-daughter combo. Welcome, and we look forward to the exceptional perspective and insights only someone of your stature and experience can provide.

---Richard Goldstone
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 16, 2009 - 10:59pm PT
Welcome Royal!

Aren't we lucky to have such cool daughters indeed.

Look forward to your contributions to ST but beware it can become addictive. There are actually quite a few of us from the early 60s, mostly lurking in the background with occasional bursts of nostalgia.

Joe Fitschen, "oldguy" will be found on the Pratt thread and he too has written a book on the early years but is still looking for a publisher. Combination of Robbins and Fitschen memoirs, back- to- back, would be a rich contribution to the heritage of American climbing.

My best to Liz and it was great to see the two of you at the Nose Reunion.

cheers

Joe McKeown
BBA

Social climber
West Linn OR
Aug 16, 2009 - 11:19pm PT
I think the only issue is that the writing is good. A book is a big investment by its author, and like a first ascent is out there for people to look at and judge - but only after having read it. Just like judging a first ascent, you have to go out and do the climb to be able to judge it. One could have said Hemingway was an egotist, but so what. His writing was good. Writing a book is a hard job, and pre-judging is a terrible thing to do, like a kind of censorship. I say buy and read the book.
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Aug 16, 2009 - 11:47pm PT
...I would love to read a "single volume" autobiography of RR"s life. He was an amazing climber who blazed a trail still being followed by contemporary climbers. But let's put things in perspective, Royal's major contributions to climbing covered a decade and a half. I haven't seen any biographies of Einstein, Ghandi or Churchill that spanned six volumes...

The Official Biography of Winston Churchill, by Randolph Churchill (vols 1,2) and Martin Gilbert is now at 24 volumes the longest biography ever written (per Guinness Book of Records) and still not complete, with a further 7 companion or document volumes in process for the period 1942-1965.

Heh.

Hey, donini, didn't we climb some choss together in eastern WA about 20 years ago?

Curt

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2009 - 12:25am PT
I just knew there was a good reason for starting this thread. Several, in fact.

Hopefully someone (Tamara?) will take the time to explain the nuances and dynamics of the internet and forums generally, and SuperTaco in particular, to Royal. He might otherwise be perplexed by a record-length thread (>5,400 posts) about wrong Republicans. Perhaps someone can send him links to some other threads he might be interested in or amused by. Ones with good puns, for example.

And perhaps at least those who knew or know Royal, but who have pen names, could somehow mention their true names, so he knows who's in on a conversation.
Double D

climber
Aug 17, 2009 - 12:31am PT
Royal, Thanks for all of the inspiration you've bestowed upon the sport for many generations.

Dave Diegelman
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Aug 17, 2009 - 01:09am PT
I've spoken to Royal briefly on two occasions and didn't feel any hint of an oversized ego; he seems like an incredibly positive, humble, and confident person.

The only thing as impressive to me as his climbing acheievements are his writings. Putting words to paper has such power to communicate thoughts, entertainment, and inspiration to a countless number of people. I will be looking forward to reading all the books!

-Steve Fettke
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 17, 2009 - 01:44am PT
Hi Tamara and Royal, welcome to the Taco Stand.

There are some really great threads in here amongst the political drek. I'll 'bump' the Tuolumne Meadows one here pretty soon. When you see "bump" that means someone is posting in a thread to raise it to the top of the thread list for the forum.

Also, feel free to post any climbing pics. I think there is a great instruction thread on posting pics around here somewhere.

cheers,
Munge
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 17, 2009 - 01:51am PT
Royal-

Welcome to the Taco forum. And I still would like to hear from Liz!

Jan Sacherer
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2009 - 03:49pm PT
Wait a minute. How do we know that the person who posted up-thread is the real Royal Robbins? :-)

Royal: the :-) is used to denote a smile, meaning the person writing is happy/making a joke. There are many other so-called emoticons.
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 17, 2009 - 04:00pm PT
Hi, Everyone! Thanks to all of you for the positive responses. And a special thanks to those articulate voices from the past, among them, Peter Haan, Joe McKeown, Rich Goldstone, Roger Breedlove, and Jeff Lowe. It's good to hear from you. Someone referred to the importance of writing prose worth reading. It is a worthy objective, like climbing a mountain. I believe that if you are going to take people's time, you had better expend the effort to make taking their time worthwhile.
hooblie

climber
Aug 17, 2009 - 04:25pm PT
quaint




edit: no seriously, i'm working thru that last line of yours, looking for the words that indicate that you didn't steal it right off my own tongue. those referenced do indeed offer up quality posts.

but my standards have lowered, and i'm better off for it. you know well that we are
self selected piercers of the envelope. i propose we endeavor to keep it that way.

i enjoy the image of a pack of rascal puppies, of uneven temperment, tugging on a hide in a choatic fashion, complete with trial bluffs, hurt feelings, dogged determination, and occasional breathtaking feats of traction, transgression and trenchant advocacy.

a while ago tarbuster broached the idea of a corner of this site finding it's legs as a salon. a fun concept.
i'm hopeful that you will tug the hide in the direction that best fits the real you, or even the experimental you .

which leads me to the on topic portion of my post. would you care to tell the story of your rising to the challenge of publishing your volumes, in the form that, if i understand correctly, was not available until the modern age of publication came to be. if you are one of the early adopters, one of the first to avail yourself of steps that i assume involved some bravery, it would be great to hear of your path.

or any other flippant, breakout freeform stylings that inspiration might fuel. have you had you jollies yet today, sir?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 17, 2009 - 05:09pm PT
the excerpt from the site...



whet the appetite

looking forward to it.
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Aug 17, 2009 - 06:06pm PT
Welcome Royal! Thanks again for the pics, and I'm hoping a story or two from your days in the quiet Hinterlands weave their way into one of your volumes.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 17, 2009 - 06:16pm PT
Hello Royal,

I never thought I would see you here. Welcome! Thank you for the copies of your book and the kind words that you wrote.

Ken Yager
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 17, 2009 - 10:53pm PT
Hard to think about Royal, without thinking about Modesto and even more difficult to think about Modesto, without reflecting on the drive from Berserkely to the Valley and the famous arch.


Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 17, 2009 - 11:26pm PT
Wow Guido,

You are older than you look.

Ken

Edit: I had forgotten that arch. I guess I am too.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 17, 2009 - 11:41pm PT
Ken

Postcard came from one of my shoebox files and the "Archives of Antiquity."

Probably a little before my time but would not be surprised to see Steck and Salathe
wandering down the road.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 17, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
hey there say, to royal robbins, (i already jumped in at your "wecome post") say, best wishes for your wonderful book... and of course it is wonderful, since the birth of a new book, from one's heart, truly is... and--it is surely wonderful, to those who love the subject matter:

and the man! say, from what i have learned here, the man and the climbing, are well worth learning from and well worth finding a great read!

(yep, since i am not a climber, i HAD to learn this--for others, they are naturally "in the know") :)

god bless to you and your family....
and:
say, welcome to your daughter, as well...
*it was neat to see all the daughter action here, stepping in for dad, for much of the general info-stuff! and fun, too!...


the extra sweetness of life and it's climbs, is to take a look back at how life has "climbed" and a family has bloomed and grown in the midst of who one was (and still is)....



*wow--ken... great pictures, and thanks for the share... i will say it again:
one learns so very much here at chris's supertopo...

well, welcome, a second time, to you royal robbins...
and three cheers and more for success with your book... :)
Barcus

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, Ca.
Aug 18, 2009 - 01:56am PT
Mr. Robbins,
I was eleven years old when my passion for climbing was first sparked.
My mentor told me, when you get a chance pick up 50 feet of webbing, a dozen biners and Royal Robbins "Basic Rockcraft".
I pretended to do some sort of good deed and my mom got me the gear, the book and a pair of Boreal fire's (I think we used to call them Fire "Cats)?
Well Sir, That was 36 years ago and I still have the swami belt, the biners and the book.
I've been clutchin stone ever since.
Royal Robbins, Thank you for sharing your life with us!
Marcus
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 18, 2009 - 08:14am PT

Wow, Joe. I don't think I would have remembered the arch in a million years. Any idea when they took it down?

I think it is kind of rude to welcome Royal by commenting on how surprised one is to see him joining in. If you met Royal and stopped to introduce yourself and chat, you would get a warm welcome. Sort of reminds me of the downer line, "So what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?". The whole room is full of folks like Royal.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 18, 2009 - 09:42am PT
Actually Pilgrims, Royal has this arch, along with all the other artifacts he has gathered, firmly installed in his living room.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 18, 2009 - 03:41pm PT
Sir Peter has spoken, perhaps he can verify his logic with a photo?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 18, 2009 - 06:27pm PT
Must bump this thread for quality content, and the stellar cast here.

Man, I can't wait to see these books!

Thanks all!
Just Havin' Fun

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Aug 18, 2009 - 11:52pm PT
Thanks Royal and others for your great posts here. It blows me away that so many great climbers read and post here.

Royal, I managed to get a signed copy of your book in the auction for Tyrus and received it a few days ago (thanks Chris for keeping it in *great* shape). I started reading it the second that I opened it and didn't put it down til I was done. This is great stuff, and honest, and inspiring. I'm giving it to my 12 year old son to read in hopes to inspire yet another generation. Keep it coming!!!

PL

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 19, 2009 - 12:34am PT
Actually Guido-Doll, this was the first Royal Arch, I am thinkin'. I did love that thing. I bet Royal knows what happened to it. Of all the Central Oven towns, Modesto is the best of them.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 19, 2009 - 03:17pm PT
BTW, since Modesto has come into the discussion... (I hope I'm not causing a Taco faux pas by bringing up something commercial) thought I'd mention that my brother has just opened an eatery in the old outlet/retail building on 10th street called "Camp 4 Wine Cafe". Haven't been home to see it myself, but I know he's got many of Denny's and other photos up, etc. And the food is apparently excellent too!! :)

edit: That's GLEN Denny's.... not the breakfast chain! :)
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 19, 2009 - 04:19pm PT
Sounds interesting Tamara

Great building for a cafe.I remember replacing some broken windows in said building and believe I broke a number of panes in the process.

There must be a wax image of Harding in his normal ratty big wall attire and a gallon jug of Red Mountain or Val Vin sitting empty on the ground.

Looking forward to seeing the menu. Names like Vin de Dirtbag, Mothers Merlot and Vino Plastic flash across my mind. Perhaps there remains some vintage "Incubus Hills", Roper"s private label, that although produced in vast quantities was also rapidly consumed. Largo's Lager would be an instant hit.


Bridwell Burger, Robbin's Omelette; the possibilities are endless.

cheers

Guido
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 19, 2009 - 04:48pm PT
as long as it's climbing and wine related, it's kosher...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Modesto-CA/Camp-4-Wine-Cafe/56671129645

RS

Social climber
Aug 19, 2009 - 04:56pm PT
I just called the Cafe. Damon's got a good list of microbrews as well as vino. Look forward to a review after my visit tomorrow evening.

Dingus Milktoast

climber
Aug 19, 2009 - 05:00pm PT
Hey Tamara I'll have to check that out. Damon used to hang with my friend's son, Henry Pollack. Perhaps they still do?

I lived in Motown for a decade or so. I climbed with Henry's dad Stu a lot back in the 90s. Twas he that turned me on to the endless but hidden promise of Sonora Pass. Stu worked in your dad's gear shop back in the day, guided for him some too I think.

I once tried to sell Royal some software but Lorin wasn't buying, lol!

I miss riding my mountain bike down the dry canals in winter. Or alley oranges.... now that's some classic California food - ride the bike down the alleys and snatch the low hanging fruits off the back yard orchards. Mmmmm GOOD!

Used to have an office over on 10th street too, over toward the Gallo plant. I like how Modesto has worked to vitalize the downtown area.

Anyway I will check out your brother's place next time I'm down that way.

DMT
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Aug 19, 2009 - 05:04pm PT
From Modesto do you take 120 or 132 to the valley?

I'd like to check out the Cafe on my next trip.
RS

Social climber
Aug 19, 2009 - 05:13pm PT
The Fet,

From Modesto, it's almost a push between 120, 132, and 140 (Merced route). I prefer the last one since there is usually less traffic.

RS
jstan

climber
Aug 19, 2009 - 05:18pm PT
Hey that's great. Means Anders' coming down to Merced to pick me up for Facelift is not a total loss.

I will say this though. YARTS is the closest thing possible to riding in a Ferrari.
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 19, 2009 - 05:45pm PT
RR welcome to ST.

It's fun.

Basic Rockcraft...started so many of us on our way. THX

The picture of your VW Van..... the doors are on the wrong side. Some sort of Euro import???

Guy Keesee
scuffy b

climber
Sinatra to Singapore
Aug 19, 2009 - 06:55pm PT
Some sort of Euro import???

now that you mention it...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Aug 19, 2009 - 07:02pm PT
Hmmm, maybe that splains why none of my Craftsman socket wrenches will work on Miwok's van... (not that he'd let me touch that van, hehe)

Euro import you say?

VW? No... WAY!

DMT
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2009 - 01:35am PT
Perhaps I'll have time to stop in the Camp 4 Wine Cafe on September 19th, en route to picking up jstan in Merced and heading for the Valley. We used to stop at Robbins' shop there, so it won't be a big change.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 20, 2009 - 09:44am PT
Mighty Anders,

I ran into Glen Denny recently and he told me about Damon’s new cafe and how there was quite a lot of Glen’s work there and that the place was great, just about to open. So I guess it’s happening now. Very fun and unique building also.

One of the many things that Royal and Liz were great at was food. Food and wine. So it is no surprise that someone in the family is running a a food service business.

Here are older photos of the two children, Tamara and Damon from Ament’s biography on RR.









Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 20, 2009 - 02:58pm PT
DMT: I remember Henry very well. Damon and he are still in contact from time to time. Boy this world is small, huh?
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 20, 2009 - 04:39pm PT
Hi. Thanks, everybody, for your kind words and encouragement. I am not sure where to start. This is a scary place. I know there are some specific individuals who require a reply. Please forgive me for my sloppiness and perhaps lack of protocol here. I will let my daughter, Tamara, take care of that, as she does so wonderfully. Anyway, someone, somewhere in the "thread" asked the question "What does he really think of Batso (Warren Harding)?" and "What really happened on the Wall of Early Morning Light?" I don't know. I guess it will be best expressed and perhaps captured in one of my future volumes. It's a good question. The answer will come out if I remain true to my goal of speaking the truth. We shall see. Anyway, thanks again for your encouragement. I'll be back.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2009 - 04:44pm PT
(Edited) Thank you! We all welcome any contribution you choose to make, and are usually friendly toward what are sometimes called "nOObs" (=newbies, neophytes). As long as you have something interesting, entertaining, or intelligent to say, all is welcome. The best strategy is to jump right in.

Please ask if you need any help navigating the shoals and rapids of SuperTopo - there are a few. (Sorry for the non-climbing metaphor, though I guess a kayaker would understand it.) If you look around, there's lots of interesting people, and good discussions to read and contribute to if you're so inclined. (OK, that's a sort of climbing metaphor.) And some good puns, too.

A while ago I started compiling an index of what seemed to be good SuperTopo threads - ones of some substance, related to climbing, with interesting history, discussion and photos. There are quite a lot. If you want, I can send it to you (or Tamara), and you could have a look. It's a bit dated, and really only covers 2004 - 07, but there's still lots to look at on rainy winter nights.

Also, if you need to know who's behind the various pen names, just ask.

Anders
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 20, 2009 - 04:49pm PT
Oh, yes...to the person who spotted the "doors on the wrong side" on my VW Van. I don't know to access that photo, but, yes, I think we did buy it in Germany. Wouldn't the doors be on the same side? I can't remember. Anyway, good catch!
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Aug 20, 2009 - 05:01pm PT
RR,

I am apologizing for one of the most embarrassing jokes I have ever told in your presence. Sometime in the 90s you were down here in San Diego at A-16 giving a talk and slide-show. It was a wonderful presentation by the way.

After the show many of the climbers present gathered round you and were asking questions and listening quietly. My friend Kevin M. was one of them. From a distance I came over and nudged my way in and I said outloud, "Kevin, what are you doing asking Royal if he rap-bolts?"

Absolute silence. It went over like the proverbial lead balloon. Everyone just stared at me quietly with "stink-eye" like how could you say something like that in Royal's presence?

Anyway, I'm sorry. It was a joke. Can't anyone take a joke anymore? My friends don't let me live it down (lol).

By the way, there is a distant thread on here at ST that talks about the famous Robbin's Crack on Mt. Woodson and how that whole story unfolded. Good read. I'll look for the link.


Here it is:
Some Mt Woodson Classics (TR)
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=300496&msg=327683#msg327683
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Aug 21, 2009 - 11:17am PT
Klimmer: I can say with absolute assurance that had Dad heard what you said, you'd have gotten one of those heartfelt laughs mentioned elsewhere in the thread! Those who know him will smile when I say that sometimes things don't get "in" the first time... and you want to be sure you have his attention or they likely won't... :)

P.S. Dad - go to the bottom of your screen, click on "show all" and scroll up to see that van pic....
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 21, 2009 - 11:33am PT
I had the VW slide in the scanner wrong side down. You will now see the famous red VW bus with doors per typical. I would comment however that I had a VW with back doors on both sides. It was called a transporter.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Aug 21, 2009 - 02:25pm PT
Two open-handed crimps to Bump and to welcome Tamara and Royal Robbins!

Bruce Adams
scuffy b

climber
Sinatra to Singapore
Aug 21, 2009 - 02:52pm PT
RR, here's a possible topic for rumination and comment.

I've been intrigued by the photograph of you which graces the
cover of Pat Ament's book, Wizards of Rock.

It shows you sitting atop one of the Cathedral Spires after an
early repeat, with the Southeast Face of El Capitan in the
background. You are gazing in the direction of El Cap.

Do you have memory of your thoughts at the time?
I'm guessing you either be thinking, "In a little while we'll be
able to climb that" or "Too bad that thing is impossible to
climb."

Of course, other possibilities exist. All in all though, in
those days, did you feel the (Yosemite) world was your oyster?
Did you know right off the bat that there were hundreds of
great climbs in the future?
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Aug 21, 2009 - 03:13pm PT
Scuffy--I think he was working at a paint store in Modesto in those days--he was possiby gazing at El Cap and "calculating coverage."
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Aug 21, 2009 - 04:26pm PT
Royal...thanks for your little essay in my Boulder Canyon guide.

Also..thanks for all you done for climbing...because of you we have some really big shoulders to stand on.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 21, 2009 - 04:37pm PT
good question Scuffy, nice way to bring back a topic!
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 21, 2009 - 06:57pm PT
Responding to "Scuffy B" -- He asked about my thoughts atop (I think) the Lower Cathedral Spire (in 1952, I think) (Photo, I think, by Barbara Lilley. I don't know what my thoughts were, or if I had any. And I had no idea that Yosemite Valley would play such an important part in my life. Anyway, I have always been afraid, and I recommend that emotion to anyone wanting to stay alive and in one piece. My advice: Don't get hurt. Don't get killed. Get to the top. In that order. Somewhere, soon, I am going to tell a story about music, because it played such a big part in our lives in the 1950's and 1960's. Best to all.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 21, 2009 - 07:06pm PT
Royal



Ah, but this brings back some fond memories!

"If I were a carpenter and you were my lady" Mort and the lovely Judy.

cheers

guido
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Aug 21, 2009 - 07:10pm PT
Now that's a classy Royal Flush if ever there was one!

Now this music thing sounds intriguing...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 21, 2009 - 08:21pm PT
Guido,

I have a cd of some of Mort's music. Do you have a copy or have you heard it?

Ken
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 21, 2009 - 08:38pm PT
Yes Ken I do and thanks for the offer.

Hennek has a large collection on reel to reel and we have been trying to get it transferred over for years. I believe Pat Ament also has a collection. Would be nice to consolidate it someday and with Mort's permission put together some more CDs.

Mort, Briggs, Covington were all excellent musicians keeping the mongrels of Camp 4 in line with their serenading and Teton Tea.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 21, 2009 - 09:14pm PT
Royal is one of the great spirits of our world of
climbers. He has always been true to himself, for better
or for worse. He has never been anything but what he is.
That's one of the marks of authenticity. His new book is
a treasury of subtle moral stories. Responsibility, courage,
compassion, loyalty, self-discipline, faith, character.
By some grand blessing he found one of the best possible
places to discover and to exemplefy these traits, a beautiful
Valley of Light. His memories and words have a little of
the Bible, a little from American history, a little from
Greek mythology, and the philosophies of Aristotle and
Plato. There even is a sense of the fairy tale, a rich
sense of Royal's literacy, built amid a culture and its
traditions. His growing up is a story that fascinates,
the way he built a kind of psychological tower of granite
where he was able to find escape from some of the
darknesses of the world.

It is a story of freedom, to happen into the freight yards
as a youth, sense adventure, and be taken by it. The
book is a study in the moral education of a unique
youth with a special heart and a keen
mind, not a perfect soul by any stretch of the imagination.
But name one of us who is. Royal has a vast stock of
experiences. When has he ever written and we have not enjoyed?
Royal has a goodness, a generosity and greatness, we hold dear.

His life was to take one step at a time, a remarkable
formation of character from his youth. A few of his stories
might strike contemporary sensibilities as old-fashioned.
For me, that's one of their strengths. Read the book in
quiet, alone, and you will hear Yosemite at a more
serene time. Great truths, great beauty, great people
live in these paragraphs, a kind of mystical corpus of
passages, as life has pointed out his way. Royal's life is
a land of fair sights, of slants of sunshine, of water that
flows in its crystalline beauty, of pines and health-giving
air that blows, and of camaraderie, a work that -- however
rough around its edges -- is noble.

"This was the noblest Roman of them all," Anthony said
of Brutus, in Julius Caesar. "His life was gentle, and
the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand
up and say to all the world, 'This was a man!'"
Indeed Royal is a spirit who took charge
of himself in marvelously steep places, a man I
am not afraid to say I have loved.

Pat Ament
MH2

climber
Aug 21, 2009 - 09:24pm PT
There is little to fear from contemporary sensibilities (if I read the code correctly) in these pages.

Count me among those glad to see this happen.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 21, 2009 - 11:24pm PT
I would add, in advance of RR's emerging writing he mentions, that fear IS a good thing. It is an appropriate appreciation of the situation. That's it. We just learn to manage it so we still can move.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Aug 22, 2009 - 12:23am PT
"Photo, I think, by Barbara Lilley"

I've seen her's and Gordon MacLeod's name in countless remote summits throughout CA and the basin and range. And I get to some obscure summits - usually to find she was there before me.

Someone posted her pic from some early Sierraclub outting - OMG what a BABE!

I think we're talking literally hundreds of summits here.

DMT
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 22, 2009 - 12:30pm PT
Looks like I struck a nerve by mentioning to music in climbing. I found myself wondering, "Why did I think of music?" And then I remembered that someone had referred to this forum as "a campfire." (A marvelous analogy!) And then I remembered that music was most often enjoyed around a campfire. I don't know how it is elsewhere, but in America music was (in the 1950's and 1960's) important in climbing. Of course Mort Hempel was a big part of it. And, yes, to those who have access to his cd's I would love to hear some of them. Mort was the best. I still remember vividly some of his lyrics: "The river is wide, I cannot cross oer (spelling?), Neither have I the wings to fly. Give us a boat that will carry two, and both shall row, my love and I." Mort got a lot of his stuff from Bill Briggs, a skier and climbing resident of Grand Teton National Park. Bill and I often played chess and Go (a Japanese board game). I remember first meeting Briggs. Joe Fitschen and I were on our premier visit to the Tetons and were lieing in our sleeping bags on the ground near Jenny Lake Campground when we heard this marvelous music wafting our way. We arose and, like zombies, moved toward the sound and soon found ourselves in the middle of a Teton Tea Party. Teton Tea is a beverage made of tea, lemons, sugar, and white and red port, and kept hot by being in the middle of a campfire. You sip it deep into the night as you sit listening to music and talking of climbs you have done and hope to do. The "Tea" keeps you awake and drowsy at the same time -- a marvelous invention! Anyway, Briggs differed from Hempel in leading sing-a-longs around campfires whereas Mort more often sang alone.
And Mike Covington was later on one of the best singers, with a voice that soared. Thanks, Mike, for the inspiring music. Of course, all of these guys, Hempel, Briggs, and Covington, were, besides being fine singers, also fine climbers who did many ascents. The coda to the above is that music was a very important part of climbing back then, and, in the crucible of rock and ice, music is often overlooked. Don't underestimate the power of guitar and voice.
myterious

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 22, 2009 - 12:32pm PT

Hey RR, just did Tis-sa-ack last week, awesome route! Good job putting that thing up back in the day!

MM
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Aug 22, 2009 - 01:47pm PT
Hi Royal,

Great to have you here. I envision everyone around the campfire suddenly getting quiet with respect as RR arrives and pulls up a stump!

Would love to hear some memories of your Tahquitz years during the 50s, say the Open Book or the Unchaste. And I look forward to your new books. This would be a great place to preview passages that you are working on.

Thanks again for your presence at Bachar’s memorial. It meant a lot to everyone there.

Rick Accomazzo
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 24, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
well, I don't know no better if there's a hush over the campfire, so I'm going to post up...


Royal, there is a formation called Fin Dome in the Rae Lakes basin of SEKI. Now, the memory is probably bad on my part, but did you end up leading a climb on that on a Sierra Club outing? Hrm, don't have my Roper guide with me, but maybe it was described in Pat's book.

What was that like, at that time for you? I've been back in there and like many high sierra locations found it to be a phenomenal area, but to do a first ascent there must have been a total blast!

cheers,
Munge

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 25, 2009 - 02:36am PT
Boy, I c uld stand to hear a few old Tahquitz stories, and RRs experience with Chuch Wilts, a force back in the day, and the first ascent of the Vampire, and seconding Jonah - and just keep them coming if you please, RR . . .

JL
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Aug 25, 2009 - 04:42am PT
Music
One of my favorite memories of Camp 4, is listening to the hilarious and ribald songs that many British climbers would sing at the campfires. Sometimes they could go on for hours. I loved it.

Cliffs make a great backdrop for singing I think. Just wish I could remember more than a few words to each melody in my head!

Sometimes coming out through the tail waves of an exciting rapid, the mood fills me and I sing at the top of my lungs. "Love Stinks! Yeah! Yeah!" was one of my favorites for some reason.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 25, 2009 - 05:25am PT
"I'm a climber, I'm a climber from Manchester way, I get all my kicks the rock climbing way.

I may be a poor man on Monday, but I'm a free man on Sunday."

Or something along those lines.

I think we all learned a number of things from the lads:

How to drink

How to play the spoons

How to use nuts

How to eat humble pie

and most of all how to laugh

Oh yes, they were bloody good climbers indeed.


dogtown

Gym climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Aug 25, 2009 - 05:51am PT
R.R. Teton Tea. I like the sound of that.
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Aug 27, 2009 - 02:25pm PT
Thanks, Guys. Good to hear from you. A description of our Open Book ascent is in Volume 2 ("Fail Falling") and Fin Dome is covered in the first volume. I don't remember anything about the Unchaste. No, I did not make a first ascent in the Ray Lakes area (should that be "Rey", being the headwaters of the Kings River etal?), but Fin Dome got me into climbing. I climbed it long ago on a Boy Scout trip. That's where I was introduced to roped climbing. It's a good idea to use this forum as a testing ground for sections of my tale. Better to get corrections early than late. OK, I'll expound on Chuck Wilts (Help!). More later from the stump.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 27, 2009 - 03:01pm PT
Hi Royal,

I think that you are correct about the usefulness of the Forum as a testing ground. Some of the best historical topics are in that line, where fuzzy memories are sharpened up with the give and take as everyone tries to find references or remember details. I think that John Long worked out parts of his new book on the Stonemasters on the Forum. The short bit that he included from me was taken from a longer post I made here on the Valley climbing in the 70s.

Please also post comments on the older threads that discuss topics that include you or the time you were in the Valley. The Pratt and Sacherer threads, and the histories of 70s Valley climbing are good examples. We would all love to hear your first hand take on those threads.

Posting pictures is always welcome and not hard once they are in electronic form. Some of the old pictures I have posted have generated more interest than anything I have written. (The image server I use, PhotoBucket, keeps track of how many times an image is opened. I think that is very cool.)

When you are ready to post stories about Chuck Wilts or any other specific topic, start a new thread. The titles are all anyone can see on the forum until they open the thread and start reading. One caveat: you can edit your posts for a short period (two weeks, I think) but you cannot edit thread titles.

Starting more threads also seems to help loosen up the lurkers (folks who read along but don't ever post anything themselves), many of whom are friends and climbing partners who have missing pieces of information.

I would be saddened to find that you have somehow become shy! Heehe.

Good to have you join in.

Best, Roger
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Aug 27, 2009 - 03:31pm PT
Roger,
Can you (or somebody) post links to some of those older threads mentioned? It would undoubtedly help RR access them readily. I did a quick search with little success.

hooblie

climber
Aug 27, 2009 - 03:45pm PT
you know when your pulling on an old briggs and stratton, you try different throttle settings. then you set the choke and pull it thru a couple more times. scratch your chin and wonder if you goofed up already. when you get a couple signs of life, boy it's kind of exciting
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा, co
Aug 27, 2009 - 03:48pm PT
Hi Royal!
Here are the links to some of the threads mentioned.

Chuck Pratt thread started by Doug Robinson
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=861139&tn=0

Frank Sacherer thread started by Ed Hartouni
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=268647&tn=0

Stonemaster threads parts 1 to 10

1 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=145850

2 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=150211

3 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=155821

4 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=157408

5 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=161148

6 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=164782

7 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=169730

8 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=173337

9 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=176623

10 - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=210947
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 27, 2009 - 05:24pm PT
A bunch of other threads that Royal may be interested in, often containing links to other interesting things.

Golden Age Accidents? http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=443559

48 Glen Denny photos from the 60s http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=401853

Half Dome Party with Yosemite Climbing Legends http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=401667

name ten climbers who influenced American climbing the most http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=508160

Astroman’s Pre-History http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=520019

How many bolts are there on the Salathe now? http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=477135

Hot Henry Changed Climbing! http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=450677

Jolly Roger Photo T.R. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=472819

My Visit to the Canoe http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=238594

Steck-Salathe http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=70191

Steck-Salathe TR 6/9/06 http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=209719

Pictures of the narrows on Steck-Salathe http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=486122

Photo TR: Steck-Salathe http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=336712

FA Sentinel Falls http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=352279

Half Dome Thank God Ledge http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=444970

B Y Conditions? http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=434735

West Face El Cap http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=398448

the most el cap SOLO ascents http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=413539

More later.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 27, 2009 - 07:22pm PT
The forum's ranks are now complete.
Have some Tea, enjoy your seat!

Welcome Royal
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Aug 27, 2009 - 07:40pm PT
Bad link on the 48 Glen Denny photos - Patagonia
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Aug 29, 2009 - 08:21pm PT
Hi!

Yosemite in the Sixties by Glenn Denny is the perfect prequel to Yosemite Climber by George Meyers.

Published in 2007,the trade edition is ISBN 0-9790649-0-9
and the boxed edition is ISBN 0-9790659-1-7
It kind of goes hand in hand with The Vertical World of Yosemite by Galen Rowell.

Call Patagonia, maybe they still have a copy for you.

Cheers
Jim
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 29, 2009 - 10:37pm PT
Hi Royal,

Welcome to the campfire! I think you'll like it here. Kind of the right mix of articulate and silly, of surprising points of view worthy of changing your mind (at least a little), some irrelevant blather, and photos you'd never suspect. Not to mention the puns. It's easy to get the hang of using the Ignore button; just move along.

You may find that a surprising lot of what crops up here grabs you. I have. Stuff I would never have suspected. Of course it's seductive too, knowing things that people want to hear, and flattering to be asked. After a lifetime of writing and getting only a trickle of response, I'm pretty juiced by the feedback around this fire.

And yes, I've tried out ideas here and then moved them on to publication. Did that last week with a reflection on John Bachar. His death affected me more than I ever expected. Like some of the denizens, I polish quite a bit before flying a text, but I find myself equally seduced by the mode of let-it-fly and then scoop another cup from the bucket of frothing tea.

I've found this place to be a huge time sink. For a long while (I've been here ~3 years) that worried me. What am I doing? What about the real work? But in a lot of ways this is the real work. The group memory of how it was. The group rumination on why. And even what it all means. Yeah, even that.

One example is the thread Mighty Hiker mentioned about Chuck. I was honored to be his friend and moved to write something I felt was pretty potent about him. But it was published obscurely in Mountain Gazette and I wanted this lot to read it, so I started a thread. Well the thread took on a life of its own and, like Chuck himself, grew into something wonderful. And like Chuck, irreverence mixed nicely among the homage.

After it grew legs, Pat Ament suggested it should become a book. But by then it already was the definitive archive on Chuck. And so it will remain, as long as digits shall live. Whether anyone ever puts it between covers, or not. For me, that became a lesson on the emerging power of the Internet. This whole place, this sometimes unruly campfire -- it all is.

Anyway, not to blather onward, just a big welcome!

Doug Robinson
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 29, 2009 - 11:25pm PT
You mentioned Bill Briggs.

Bill has been battling Lymphoma for years now.

The reception after Woody's memorial was at his house near the south entrance to JTree. there are two houses on that road that fly a New Mexico flag when the occupants are present and accepting guests. Bills is on the left quite close to the park entrance.

If he's there this fall, I'm sure a visit from any of the old school would be appreciated.

PM me if you want contact information.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 30, 2009 - 12:53pm PT
Hey Doug,

Your post is the best summary I have seen of the 'old climbers' view of the benefit of the Forum. Thanks.

Two threads which I think showed off the immediacy and power of the Forum are 'Wings of Steel' and 'Growing Up.' Unlike the 'Pratt' or 'Sacherer' threads, both threads are a complete mess for a casual reader (an abridged version would be great but the topics may be too obscure to warrant the effort). The mix of comments and discussions from the principals involved would not have been possible in any other direct way—too many people, spread out in different parts of the country, and from different times--short of an exhaustive investigative reporting. The back and forth, especially for 'Growing Up', as climbers rethought their positions going in and out of day and night and sober to loose lipped created a common understanding and some common ground (and lots of laughter) for both an old and a new controversial climb. I am reminded of the articles and letters to Summit in the late 60s as climbers took aim at each other: those exchanges don't hold a candle to what can be done on the Forum.

That said, the Forum takes some getting used to. It is like going to a camp fire in which you can talk to your friends but are in ear shot of conversations at adjoining campfires that you don't want to be part of. Active compartmentalization is a required skill.

Best, Roger
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 30, 2009 - 01:52pm PT
I still think Russ' synopsis of the "Growing Up" thread is best...

SFHD rap bolted by a naked talus runner and a pro climber, who also does construction to feed his kids. Route is probably great, but since style is still important to many, FA guys are getting an earful. Other guys are loving the new way to do giant walls safely, and are coming to the defense of the FA guys. Many old crustys in the fray. Lots of bad spelling. Young guys poking old guys with sharpened stick clips.... old guys peeing on ball-less young guys..... Since opinions are like bungholes, even 5.4 leaders from the Gunks are lipping up along with the hardest of the hard from every era. No end in sight.

it was a early 1000's post of a thread that went on for another 1000 posts...

Welcome Royal Robbins, I hope you enjoy the campfire, you'll find it wise to wander off to bed early from time to time, and at other times, as Doug alluded to, be upset that you are the last one howling at the moon...

It is a special place, sorta like the New Yorker observed
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 30, 2009 - 01:57pm PT
Thanks, Roger.

Nicely put and good insight. We have come to expect no less of you.

I'm still impressed by what happened on the 'Growing Up' thread. You're right, thanks to this medium it became something well beyond the reach of even good investigative journalism or live campfire. The filtering out you mentioned was of course necessary (bloody my knuckles? I think not.). And the weeks it took to run its course actually encouraged thoughtful as well as hot-off-the-cuff responses.

Not to hijack Royal's thread here, but I worked hard to write a piece about Growing Up for the AAJ that was informed and heavily influenced by that thread. Maybe I should post it up. Or not. Let sleeping dogs (sic) lie, and all that. I sure wish it would get climbed again so some fresh perspective could emerge.
Tamara Robbins

climber
CA
Sep 1, 2009 - 12:37pm PT
I have an original copy of a songbook that many may remember... unfortunately the cover is gone so I can't name it! Anyhow, I remember the family belting them out on our numerous road trips! Particularly "Gory Gory" about a climbing fall, "Abdullah Bulbul AMir", "Streets of Laredo".... Dad may be able to recount the book's origin and name?
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 1, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
Ed, that was a well spoken of a piece on some chaotic threads as I've ever read.

Doug, it would be a good thing to read those words, perhaps a new thread? Did Growing Up ever get a second ascent after all that hot air?

BTW, Largo giving a preproduction read of Royals book 5 stars means I'm getting it for sure. At least the first one:-)

Royal, the ethics debate has fragmented even more since you stopped climbing. I think being either the greatest climber, or certainly one of them anyway, of your era, gave you incredible strength and power to your well crafted logical words on the issue of clean climbing and bolting that few have possessed since.

Regards to all

Bill
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 1, 2009 - 01:50pm PT
Bill,

Royal hasn't "stopped" climbing. He just started boating, writing, etc. There are several folks that can attest to him still climbing.

cheers,
M
Royal Robbins

Trad climber
Modesto, California
Sep 1, 2009 - 08:52pm PT
Tamara mentioned singing aloud on our way to climbs and things like that. We did. We loved music. That book of songs she refers to is "Song Fest", the (irreplaceable) IOCA (Intercollegiate Outing Club Association)song book. It has a song about a climbing accident ("Gory, Gory, What a Hell of a Way to Die") It begins "Will it go around the chockstone, cried the belayer, looking up". And it has another about the battle between Abdullah Bulbal Amir and Ivan Skavinsky Skivar and a sad one about the cowboy dying in the Streets of Laredo. Tam memorized much of those. Those are the ones we sang most often, but there are many others in Song Fest.
Thanks, Doug. It's great to see you and other friends as part of this. I will be back. (This is enjoyable!) Thanks to whomever for posting the links. I'll look them up.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2009 - 08:59pm PT
Hmmm. Perhaps such songbooks were common to climbing and mountaineering clubs then, especially those that were affiliated with educational institutions. Perhaps an outgrowth from scouting or something. The Varsity Outdoor Club at UBC had a songbook which it regularly used, although I don't recall anyone singing on the way to climbs.

Royal: I'll post some more links to interesting threads when I get a chance. Once you start poking around, you'll find that many good threads themselves have embedded links to other good stuff. We met two years ago at the FaceLift, where I took this photo of you, Tom and John Stannard.

Anders
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Sep 1, 2009 - 09:16pm PT
So with a handy search tip from another thread (thanks cintune!), I was able to find the "Sorting out late 70's Valley climbing" thread that Roger had started a year ago:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=655407

DR,
A like your thoughts on the forum. The internet, for better and sometimes for worse, has definitely changed the nature of the climbing community.

MH2

climber
Sep 1, 2009 - 09:31pm PT
Dang, I just went rummaging through the stacks of accumulata filling the mansion, stumbling over a quietly rusting Chouinard axe, a still-working vintage Primus, notes submitted to the Brown-Pembroke Outing Club on a Tetons trip, Whitewater Coaching Manual by Jay Evans, U.S. Olympic Coach, One Morning in Maine, A House is a House for Me, The Whole Earth Catalog, a forgotten shoe horizon (late Fire to early Mythos), until a blind shifting of weights sent a giant stone rolling toward me, chasing me back in here with no "Song Fest".

I know it's here somewhere, though, so thanks for mentioning it. If only the lights had been working in that wing...
MH2

climber
Sep 2, 2009 - 12:39pm PT
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Sep 2, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
We do that song thing too! Only more modern ya dig?

So instead of Sound of Music songs we do Limp Bisket and System of a Down.

Turns some heads let me tell you! A group of climbers belting out the Bisket's Keep Rollin walking up a trail can be a scary thing (*when done right*)

Keep rollin rollin rollin rollin
Keep rollin rollin rollin rollin

Hah!

Or try shouting out

WAKE UP!

"Why'd ya leave the ketchup on the table?"
(group shouts) "YOU WANTED TO!"

I don't think I trust
in
my
pro, this is suiciiiiiiide!

Lateralis is another good trail song!

DMT
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 2, 2009 - 02:41pm PT
hahaha


btw all, the book is available to ship, as of at least last night when I ordered my copy.

http://www.royalrobbinsthebook.com/index.php
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 2, 2009 - 05:10pm PT
I missed the meat of this thread when I was in Vedauwoo the other week. Coolness!

Mark Stumpf and I climbed Fantasia @ the Leap in '75, that, was true adventure on a Robbins route. Likewise, Danse Macabre and the window (I failed) at Devil's Tower.

Again, Royal, I really appreciated what you had to say at the Bachar memorial (as well as in the books and articles over the years) and look forward to whatever you may have to share with us here, at your own pace and time.

I still have my Blue Meanies.


and, oh yeah, as a preteen, I was part of the Campfire at the CMC Campground by Devil's Lake Wisc, when we sang "Gory, Gory"
Brian Hench

Trad climber
Laguna Beach, CA
Sep 2, 2009 - 07:37pm PT
Found the lyrics to Gory, Gory. Not sure if they are accurate or not.

http://www.angio.net/~lukesos/Personal/ScratchBook/TidBits/Climbers_Song.html
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 2, 2009 - 09:43pm PT
The notes on p.179 of the book "The Stanford Alpine Club" (1999), suggest that Al Baxter wrote these lyrics in the late 1940s:

-

Songs: most popular during the first 2 years [1946-47] were
"Gory, Gory What a Helluva Way to Die," lyrics by [Al] Baxter,
inspired by Larry Taylor's paratrooper song "Blood on the
Risers"; "Here's to the Next Man that Dies," lyrics by Baxter;
and Larry Swan's "Tibetan Marching Song."
-


The lyrics for the first stanza and chorus are given on p.67;
they match the lyrics in the online page.
The source is given as:
Al Baxter, "Gory, Gory", "SAC Songbook",
Melody: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
GDavis

Trad climber
Sep 2, 2009 - 09:58pm PT
Damn, I hope I look as good as Royal when I grow up! He looks like he's either going to tend to his garden or repeat The Salathe Wall.
khanom

climber
good question
Sep 2, 2009 - 10:49pm PT
That's a great photo, Anders. I'm glad you thought to take it.
jstan

climber
Sep 3, 2009 - 12:00am PT
Anders' photo would not have come to pass were it not for Ken and Anders' determination that it would happen. After thirty years I of course wanted to meet Royal and Tom. I am not brain dead, or so I would claim. But you see to meet them you have to take their attention away from the youngsters lined up five deep to meet them. Young people who have dedicated themselves to something, and who have come halfway around the world, for this one moment. You can see it in their faces. You also have to realize that this kind of situation demands far more from Royal and Tom than did any of their climbs. In a word, it is draining. There is a tremendous need for people to get what they seek without being disappointed. The pressure is immense. Truly immense. There is simply not enough time.

The truth is we all went through the wars together. We and thousands like Doug and Curt Johnson were all there working hard when this country successfully threaded the eye of the needle no one believed could be threaded.

But together - we did it.

All of us.

We needed a miracle.

And a miracle is exactly what we got.

It was quite a moment.

And, of course, Anders knew exactly what was happening.
MH2

climber
Sep 3, 2009 - 12:11am PT
^^^^^ Nicely said.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2009 - 12:25am PT
It was mostly circumstance, plus a hint or two from Erik (MisterE) that did it. I was sitting beside Erik in the audience - it was at the 2007 FaceLift, an evening show of "The West Face of Sentinel", with commentary from Tom and Royal. It seemed like a good opportunity for a nice group photo, and with a bit of effort it happened. The first time the three had been together in person.

Sadly, I either forgot to take a picture of Erik and Royal, or did but it didn't come out. It was the first time they were together since 1965, when the unbelievably cute photo of Erik in the following thread was taken.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=447392&msg=483307#msg483307
MH2

climber
Sep 3, 2009 - 04:29pm PT

From Brian Hench:

*
Found the lyrics to Gory, Gory. Not sure if they are accurate or not.

http://www.angio.net/~lukesos/Personal/ScratchBook/TidBits/Climbers_Song.html
*


There are enough differences between that and the published version I have to vouchsafe the claim that it was produced from memory, but a good memory.
MH2

climber
Sep 3, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
atonement for digression bump



http://www.royalrobbinsthebook.com/index.php

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 8, 2009 - 05:22pm PT
Book arrived right before I headed to the East Side. I was up each night, after our evening mixers, reading it, savoring the intensity of trying to find meaning in the vapid wasteland we call Los Angeles.

Thank you Royal

With being from So Cal, disaffected by the suburban sprawl, and plasticity of Orange Co, finding climbing as a saving grace to the angst of teenage years where team sports were for the herds, there was much of your story that resonated with me.

To those thinking about buying it. Just do it.



Tamara Robbins

climber
not a climber, just related...
Sep 15, 2009 - 10:46am PT
Just returned from a Cataract Canyon 5-day with my partner Jeff, during which we read To Be Brave every morning in camp or floating downstream. I am utterly in awe at what I've read thus far. Dad's writing seems to have reached a new level of eloquence. What a marvelous read!
rick

Social climber
california
Oct 30, 2009 - 09:16pm PT
Sacramento area folks-

I wanted to let you all know that Royal Robbins is coming to American River College (ARC) in Sacramento on Tuesday December 1st, 2009 for a College Hour Talk titled "Becoming A Climber" at 12:15-1:15pm in Raef Hall 160. This event is free (parking costs a buck) and open to the public and there will be copies of his great new autobiography To Be Brave for purchase and signing after the talk.

ARC is at 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento CA 95841. Take your lunch break then and come out. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Hope to see you there,

Rick
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Oct 30, 2009 - 10:12pm PT
Read the book in two nights of before bed reading. Great stuff. Can't wait for the other books.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2009 - 10:58pm PT
I stopped in Modesto at the cafe on the way to the FaceLift, to see if I could get a copy, but it wasn't open. They didn't have it yet anywhere in the Valley, though the Ansel Adams had ordered some. It's not in stock at any Vancouver book store, but maybe one of the climbing stores? Worst of all, the public library hadn't even ordered a copy yet - I've now sent a suggestion that they do so asap.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 30, 2009 - 11:03pm PT
What is your problem, Mighty Anders?

http://www.amazon.com/Be-Brave-Royal-Robbins/dp/0982500017/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256957913&sr=8-2
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2009 - 11:32pm PT
I like to buy local where reasonably possible, even if it's a product that originated elsewhere.
robdan

Mountain climber
London
Feb 28, 2010 - 05:43pm PT
Superb first book in the series of the autobiography, flew through it. Anyone know when part deux is due out ?
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 1, 2010 - 12:33am PT
I just got me a copy. I'll post up when I'm done.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 1, 2010 - 01:07am PT
vol 2?

please do
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 1, 2010 - 01:44am PT
One of the coolest threads ever.

All of the heavies are here.......
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 1, 2010 - 01:51pm PT
Slideshows March 3, 4, 29, April 27.

Link:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1093551/Upcoming_Royal_Robbins_Slide_Shows_in_Bay_Area
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 3, 2010 - 12:09am PT
Okay- I finished volume one. It was great. You pretty much have to be a climber to pick this book up, but if you do, you'll like it. What's today, Tuesday? I started this thing Sunday night I think. It's a fast read.

A childhood, a description of a different time, woven around a story of his solo climb on leaning tower. It's a story of a misfit kid, who had a rough childhood, but was able to find his calling.

I was a scout, still am in spirit, I loved his stories from the scouting years. Royal, if you are out there reading the reviews of the book, I got a good laugh at your retrospective look back at how your scoutmasters must have viewed your climbing. The Mt. San Jacinto escapade comes to mind.

They must have thought the same thing about me back in the day. I'm now a parent so I'm starting to appreciate the heart attacks that the kids bring.

The leaning Tower story brings back memories of my trip up the climb. It was a big deal for me too, not in a cutting edge sort of way like for Royal, but because we had to finish despite everything going wrong. We climbed into the night after some big wingers, behind schedule each day. I even flew off into the darkness one or two moves from the summit, but we kept going. That was a huge lesson, keep going, you'll make it if you keep going.

As a person who is struggling to find his way in the "real world" I look forward to the coming chapters on transitioning from full time climbing into running a business.

Keep it coming Royal.

peterbeal

Boulder climber
Colorado
Mar 16, 2010 - 04:56pm PT
My review of the book is here:

http://www.mountainsandwater.com/2010/03/to-be-brave-by-royal-robbins-review.html
jvnn

Trad climber
Fort Collins, Co
Mar 28, 2010 - 02:43pm PT
I stumbled here in the process of searching for a copy of the film Sentinel: The West face which I saw in high school.
When I saw it I was duly impressed but swore nobody would ever catch me dangling from a rope off a cliff.
Since then, I learned climbing in Albuquerque and enjoyed RR's books basic and advanced rockcraft.

Anyways, cheers to you RR, good to hear you are still kicking around.
And if anyone knows how to lay hands on that film...
-Joel
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 29, 2010 - 02:55pm PT
Royal will be back in the Bay Area tonight, March 29th. This time, he will be presenting a talk/slideshow at the REI - Saratoga store.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Mar 9, 2011 - 11:29am PT
Just finished my copy of the first volume. Excellent writing that draws the reader in. Stinkeye (upthread) calls Robbins' early life "ordinary, even boring" but I think stinkeye is missing the point. Somehow, out of these mundane, dysfunctional beginnings, Robbins blossomed into the best climber of his generation, still the single most influential climber of the last fifty years.

How did that happen?

On the surface is the clear description of the two disappointing father figures. A careful read reveals hints of the intelligence, creativity and drive that were so keenly in need of direction, and so poorly served by these role models.

As the author himself suggested up-thread, he is trying to be be honest, and here, I think, is real honesty. The young Robbins could have so easily fallen into a cycle of bad parental role models--even domestic violence, the whole, ugly cycle of children brought up to violence and in turn becoming violent adults--yet the teenage Robbins escaped this fate by latching on to very different role models in the scouts. They propelled him in a new direction, the world of rock climbing, where, in order to survive, one learns a very different approach to dealing with problems. An approach that, ahem, he seems to have mastered quite well over the years....

The best books, like the best climbs, go in unexpected directions in order to go from A to B. Somewhere along that journey one understands that the whole point never actually was to go from A to B.

I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2011 - 11:35am PT
The second volume, Fail Falling, is in print.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1375877/Fail-Falling
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 9, 2011 - 12:26pm PT
Jox, you are out of line to condemn somebody for the number of their pages rather than their content.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2011 - 12:30pm PT
Yes, grumblings from RJ about the volume of the contents, or the content of the volumes, seem a trifle strained.

(Doesn't RR like word plays?)
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 9, 2011 - 01:15pm PT
I started to buy a copy of Vol 1, then flipped it over and saw the price. Did the math, MSRP x 6 Vols...I don't think so. Maybe the library will get copies, because I'd love to read it...just not $150 worth of lovin.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 9, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
How much did you spend the last time you climbed your namesake azz?

How much more would it have cost you had not Royal pried open the door for you?




Largo and MH have each read a book or two and they say you get what you pay for.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 9, 2011 - 01:44pm PT
Feel free to buy me a copy and send it over Ron, and when I'm done I'll dontate it to San Bernardino Co library system, Joshua Tree branch. My climbing book allowance was spent on a signed Desert Towers book for Kor benefit, THAT was worth my money....this, not so much. Not really sure why my opinion and choice of where I spend MY money makes you feel the need to argue about it, but hey, whatever...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 9, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
Apparently I was not informed about this benefit.
No problemo, but if you have a book allowance how does that compare to your climbing allowance?



I was intrigued by what MH said about the absent father figures, in light of the Roberts book on expedition hoaxes (NTM my own experience with a father that was on tour much of my early years).
Maybe its not the gripping existential heroics that you seek in your literature Eazz, but underlying motivations can be far more enlightening.

Still, I'll keep my powder dry until I've read more.
skadder

Big Wall climber
Rio Oso
Apr 13, 2011 - 06:59pm PT
Most of you are young-in's when it comes to Rock Climbing. I started when Harding, Frost, Chinourd, and the always Big Ego, Robbins was forging ahead and nailing the walls of Yosemeti. As for Robbins, he was and remains full of himself, but one hell of a climber. 1st solo of El Cap, etc. My Royal Robbins climbing boots, (Blue) took me to the top of many a rocks in my day, El Cap, Heart Route, Sentinal, Washington Column, Royal Arches, Lost Arrow, Sunny Benches. Devils Tower, Mt. Whitney, Lovers Leap, etc. My last line in the sand was bolting up the Smoke Stack of the old Sacramento City Incinerator to honor the Irainian hostages of 1981. I was looking at the new climbing shoes. My oh my how the equipment has changed. From my RR boots, and my Gold Line, pitons, rurps, cliff hanger, etc. But the one thing that never changes is that rush, those moments when nothing is in between your brain, no thoughts of anything, just you and the rope. Keep it going, "on belay" brothers.

Bill
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 13, 2011 - 07:35pm PT
making fun of Royal is a fool's mission

i was much younger than him, but BITD i shared a rope with him on many climbs, shared a campsite in Camp 4 and the Tetons, and shared many discussions about possibilities for the sport

my friends Mark and Warren and Layton and Chuck and Tom and Yvon and Frank and Bob and others were all great climbers

we were all playing catch-up to him

i think they would all agree that this sport would not have progressed nearly so far and so fast without Royal's vision and drive and inspiration

Edit: Royal has always been a very thoughtful individual and has become very mellow and modest in his old age. he has absolutely no need to defend his accomplishments. any of the old controversies are long since water under the bridge. i think he feels a duty to the sport to write his memoirs in detail; and i certainly agree that is true. i am also very supportive of others such as Layton and Jello who are doing similarly. their climbs were absolutely amazing for the era in which they were accomplished
Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Apr 13, 2011 - 07:39pm PT
Bill with all due respect,the majority of SuperTopo climbers are individuals who grew up climbing in the era you talk about and beyond.Even some continue to climb just as hard to this very day....

Personally I respect every individual for that,being individual.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 13, 2011 - 09:47pm PT
If nothing else, Royal loves to write, always has. It has never come easily for him, especially when he is working on something more creative. He taught himself, basically, and valued this area of his endeavors a whole lot, would think about stuff he was working on, all day long even, while toiling away on something unrelated, or if we were driving somewhere.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 3, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
I got some Xmas cash, and went to amazon.com to finally order the second volume, "Fail Falling".
I saw the 3rd volume was published in September 2012, "The Golden Age", so I bought that one, too!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Royal+Robbins
Plan to read these quickly after they arrive!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Jan 3, 2013 - 04:53pm PT
Clint, they are both worthwhile.

Vol 1 is still my favorite so far since there is so much about his So Cal experience that resonates with me.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 3, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
Six volumes.....I can't even get through an issue of Alpinist.

I have alway found it difficult and unsatisying to read about climbing. I much more enjoy reading about activities i know little about.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 3, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
More cheese, less fiber Donini.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 3, 2013 - 05:36pm PT

Volume 3 published September 2012...
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Royal+Robbins

Rob,

I liked volume 1 "To Be Brave" very much, too - with all the childhood misadventures transitioning to early climbing adventures.

Jim,

I rarely read books, and don't read climbing magazines cover to cover anymore. But I've always liked Royal's articles and adventures. I used to have many years of Summit magazines and got to read some of his great stuff like "Cutting Canadian Capers"! (Edith Cavell, etc.)
P.S. Can you tell us a story sometime about the club where people hunt down the last members of an endangered species? I always thought this was a great spoof on environmentalism! I heard the story from my climbing friend who met you in the 70s, Brinton Young.
DanaB

climber
CT
Jan 3, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
I have alway found it difficult and unsatisying to read about climbing. I much more enjoy reading about activities i know little about

I'm not criticizing people who like to read about climbing, but I agree with Jim. Climbing books, climbing magazines, and (especially) climbing videos never interested me too much. Personal preference, nothing more.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jan 3, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s Royal was, as Pat Ament said, the Spirit of the Age. It's hard to imagine that period without him setting the pace. It's good he's writing and keeping his intellect alive.

;>)
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 3, 2013 - 10:18pm PT
Clint! Thanks for bringing up Royal's books. I have the first two, but was not aware that #3 had been published. I owe it to myself, to buy it and read it.

Re your question for Donini:

P.S. Can you tell us a story sometime about the club where people hunt down the last members of an endangered species? I always thought this was a great spoof on environmentalism!

I don't have any Donini memories on the subject, but Ray Bradbury did a 1952 short story, with an ugly & scary twist on the subject.

Here's the Wiki-link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder

Bradbury did "think-ahead!"
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Jan 4, 2013 - 08:00am PT
I still remember watching Robbins climb in the Gunks with McCarthy, probably in 1968.

They had already climbed a bunch of hard routes and were finishing up on Retribution-5.10. This is when 5.10 WAS the top grade BITD.

There was a huge crowd watching and Royal was at the crux move. McCarthy didn't tell Royal about the key hold, which if not used, in my opinion would put the climb in the 5.11 range for sure.

Royal cruised the move, which amazed me.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 5, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Fritz, thanks, but I'd say that article is more about time travel paradox? I meant the concept of helping extinction along in the present day.... :-)

There is a brief interview of Royal in the latest issue of Climbing (just received it today).

It gave a URL where the book can be bought directly, and it also offers signed copies:
http://royalrobbinsthebook.com/
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Feb 1, 2013 - 01:51pm PT

I too went to buy Fail Falling - cashing in on a gift card - when I saw The Golden Age. So I bought 'em both.

Halfway through Fail Falling and eager to get onto The Golden Age.

With three more volumes to go curious how many will be about his kayaking adventures. Pumped to read about the Triple Crown of first descents RR and Reg Lake and YC did back in the 80s.

That's gotta be worth two volumes of his life. As a reader I hope so anyways.

briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Feb 1, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
:)

Credit: briham89
Meeting Royal Robbins
Meeting Royal Robbins
Credit: briham89
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 1, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson


^^^in my copy of "Spirit of the age"
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Feb 1, 2013 - 05:48pm PT

signed copies of books by their authors is way bithcin'


so jealous,
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Feb 1, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
First, I fully acknowledge Royal's climbing accomplishments, his positive influence on our ethics, his excellent writing that has appeared in many climbing magazines and journals, and his positive influence on younger generations of youth, whether they came into climbing or not.

Second, I really appreciate the effort it takes to write the memoirs that Royal is writing, and I feel honored to have read all three volumes that have come out so far. Thank you, Royal (and Liz), for your efforts and for getting them into print.

Third, I'd like to invite all who are interested in Royal's life and in the climbs and other climbers of that era to read Joe Fitschen's autobiography, "Going Up." He writes nearly as much about Royal as he does about himself, and the reader gets deep insights into the minds and hearts of both of these guys during their formative years in L.A. and through the years that they were in the army and afterward. Excellent reading! Thank you, Joe.
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