To Be Brave - Royal Robbins Autobiography


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


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

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!

Social climber
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,

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

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?
Mighty Hiker

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.

Mountain climber
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.

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

please do

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.

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.


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

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...
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.

Social climber
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

Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2011 - 11:35am PT
The second volume, Fail Falling, is in print.
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.
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