To Be Brave - Royal Robbins Autobiography

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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.
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