Trip Report
Gracefully Aging Climbers' J-Tree Rendezvous
Friday March 21, 2014 7:55pm
Typically when my climbing buddies and I get together we could easily and lovingly be described as “climbing geezers”. The whole group of us is well over 200 years of collective climbing experience. However, recently when I saw Trusty Rusty’s thread on aging gracefully (even though he said 50+…”faux geezers” …we are all 60+..real geezers). I thought perhaps a kinder, gentler characterization would be “Gracefully Aging Climbers” or GAC for short. So regardless of GACs or Geezers a subset of us were able to recently have a J-Tree rendezvous.
This subset included John C., a soon-to-retire Cambridge Don; Mike J (Ferretlegger on ST), Phillip F (Guck on ST), Laurie S. and myself. Sadly missing on this trip was Ingrid and Art. The first four, John, Mike, Laurie and Phillipe started climbing together in the late 60s and early 70s at UC Santa Barbara. I’m a come lately, having started on the East Coast, took a long hiatus and returned to climbing about 15 years ago. Amongst us that did this trip we represent somewhere over 180 years of climbing. Some are still doing walls, some like me, check out the approach, the number of pitches, the descent and then make my decision!
Since it’s just the beginning of climbing season we took it easy and stayed at a motel. We sorta ease into ground sleeping by starting off at motels, progressing to increasingly harder mattresses and sketchy lodging until sleeping on the ground is a God-send. Actually product plug here…ever since buying a NeoAir XTherm I have found sleeping on the ground about as close to a comfortable bed mattress as you can get. It is pricey, but worth it, and I usually buy all my expensive gear up in Montana because of no sales tax. If you check it out in the store it sounds horribly crinkly, like a potato chip bag, but when inflated and laying down on it, it doesn’t have that annoying crinkle sound. Just an FYI.
As far as the climbing went we hit the following areas: Hemingway, PlayHouse Rock, Intersection, Trash Can and Hall of Horrors. Weather was beautiful, moderate temps, and off and on brisk winds. I lived up to the “duh geezer” moniker when I lost a whole day of climbing pictures because I had my SLR setting so f’ed up it over exposed. Photo Shop couldn’t ever do a decent recover. I’m always reluctant to take that camera out for fear “I might break it”…so this time I said screw that; hanked on the telephoto and shot away, only to end up with faded pictures that look like something from the 60s. Oh well. Amongst us we caught a few.
Next installment: Zion Rendezvous
Over 180 years of collective climbing powering down Mexican and Margaritas.
Mike, Laurie, Phillipe, John and Susan
Mike, Laurie, Phillipe, John and Susan
Credit: SCseagoat
John C on Playhouse Rock
John C.
John C.
Credit: SCseagoat
Mike taking a breather after a challenging lead
Mike Jefferson (Ferretlegger) taking a break after a tough lead.
Mike Jefferson (Ferretlegger) taking a break after a tough lead.
Credit: SCseagoat
Phillipe's turn to take a breather
Phillipe F. taking a break after a beautiful climb on PlayHouse Rock
Phillipe F. taking a break after a beautiful climb on PlayHouse Rock
Credit: SCseagoat
Susan headed up...easy climb, shitty descent
Credit: SCseagoat
Susan trying to squeeze into a's too thin, or Susan's too wide!
Credit: SCseagoat
Laurie topping out
Credit: SCseagoat
Laurie so proud of her sun hat, a wonderful deal at Nomads, turns out it was a toddler size...but fit her!
Laurie topping out
Laurie topping out
Credit: SCseagoat
Mike contemplating being a belay slave
Credit: SCseagoat
Down climbing was harder than the route we just did
Credit: SCseagoat
Laurie thinking we've done the worst of the downclimb, we still had a chimney to go through.
Credit: SCseagoat
Mike high stepping a lead on Jessica's Crack
Credit: SCseagoat
Mike leading Jessica's Crack with Phillipe belaying and Laurie supervising
Credit: SCseagoat
Arrch, one of my overexposed failed pics....which is very sad as Phillipe was doing an awesome handstack on this move.
Credit: SCseagoat
End of another day for the GACs
Gracefully Aging Climbers
Gracefully Aging Climbers
Credit: SCseagoat

And a trip down memory lane for me, stopped by Trash Can Rock and took this picture nearly 3 years to the day after finishing chemo.
March 2014
March 2014
Credit: SCseagoat
Three years ago, just after finishing chemo
3/2011 , 3 weeks after last chemo, Trash Can Rock, JT weekend of Fland...
3/2011 , 3 weeks after last chemo, Trash Can Rock, JT weekend of Flander's Fest.
Credit: SCseagoat

Laurie is a great climbing partner, last fall
Our friend Laurie from San Diego comes to FL for nostalgia....a 70s Ca...
Our friend Laurie from San Diego comes to FL for nostalgia....a 70s Camp 4 climbing regular
Credit: SCseagoat
And another great climbing partner and life partner, last fall
Afternoon off from trash pick up climbing on Swan Slab with Michael &#...
Afternoon off from trash pick up climbing on Swan Slab with Michael (Ferretlegger)
Credit: SCseagoat

Time to hit the road!
Climb on...tis the season...

  Trip Report Views: 4,230
About the Author
SCseagoat is a trad climber from Santa Cruz.

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Comment on this Trip Report

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
Good to keep getting after "IT" ... nice TR

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:04pm PT
Woo-hoo! Love Josh. Not Mucci, but the park. But Mucci is cool.

Thanks for the pics!!!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
Sweet! Is it gracefully aging climbers or, aging climbers gracefully sending.....or both?

  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:18pm PT
Great job, love TRs like this. Real feel good stuff, thanks!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:47pm PT
Great Fun Susan, Mike and Friends! I'm back in So Cal, perhaps we will meet up:) Thanks for taking the time to share your fun. Love, Peace and mucho Joy from lynnie

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:53pm PT
GACs rule!!!

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Mar 21, 2014 - 08:54pm PT
TFPU Susan.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Mar 21, 2014 - 09:03pm PT
excellent TR! Looks like a great time.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Mar 21, 2014 - 09:09pm PT
Nice job Susan. Wished I was with you there.


Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Mar 21, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
Cool! TFPU!

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 21, 2014 - 09:38pm PT
Looks fun! I'm jealous while sitting here by my woodstove waiting for the snow to start again! Hope to see you...soon!?


The Granite State.
  Mar 21, 2014 - 09:42pm PT
You old people and your dang misconceptions ....

Stop having so much fun, galdangit.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Mar 21, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Nice to see you going for it! Continue truckin! Nice report.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Redwood City
  Mar 21, 2014 - 10:17pm PT
Very cool TR and much respect to our climbing elders .

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Mar 21, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
Sounds like a great time.
I'm reading this in a cheap motel in Yucca Valley. Lucke and I had really fun day out there today. He is camping out at Black Rock with the AAC folks.
Tomorrow I think we are planting trees for the NPS.

Trad climber
  Mar 21, 2014 - 11:03pm PT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Mar 22, 2014 - 12:31am PT
maybe Gracing Agefully?

either way, thanks for the stoke

Gym climber
  Mar 22, 2014 - 01:48am PT
Sweet; thanks!

Random Nobody
  Mar 22, 2014 - 01:57am PT
Great report.
I'm inspired to know the climbing can continue past grade systems and into fun.


Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Mar 22, 2014 - 02:43am PT
Just great, you are inspiring, Thanks!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Mar 22, 2014 - 06:38am PT
Only 11 years and I'll be a faux geezer ;)

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 22, 2014 - 10:56am PT

You at least had donini for a "role model" last Summer! You going to make it to CoR sometime this year?

this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
  Mar 22, 2014 - 11:29am PT
Great looking trip Susan. Thanks for the TR.

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Mar 22, 2014 - 12:32pm PT
Miss Susan, Thanks for posting up photos and a trip report..

Fun group of Tacoheads...(-;
What a gift...three years clean.

Raising the coffee cup high and toasting you.. for many more adventures and good healthy years..

much Love


Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 22, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
On General Principles, I'm giving this excellent adventure thread a massive "BUMP!"
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
  Mar 22, 2014 - 08:52pm PT
Josh in Spring, always fun.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Mar 23, 2014 - 03:35am PT
Good one Susan. I always like your postings and this one is even better with the climbing.

One in the demographic,

Trad climber
Solana Beach, CA
  Mar 24, 2014 - 01:33am PT
Thanks, Susan. Great trip and great trip report! Here's another good geezer group pic from Phillip's camera.
Phillip Mike Susan Laurie John--GACs at play
Phillip Mike Susan Laurie John--GACs at play
Credit: JestaGal
GACs rock!

John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
  Mar 24, 2014 - 09:01am PT

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Mar 24, 2014 - 10:39am PT
Thanks for the pics.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Mar 24, 2014 - 12:04pm PT

"Decent descent routes are good to find," he said, condescendingly.

Thanks for this wonderful TR, Susan and Mike.

John, Laurie, and Guck, y'all take it easy on those two.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Mar 24, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
That's the Spirit!

Before sitting down to a fabulous feast with Ghost and our respective better halves last night I raised my glass in honor of Well Aged Meat.

On the plate or lunging for one, there is none better! LOL

Thanks for sharing your fun with us Susan! What an indelible crew.
Big Mike

Trad climber
  Mar 24, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Great Tr Susan. Glad to hear you are feeling well. Say hi to Mike for me!!

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Mar 25, 2014 - 12:23am PT
Met a couple of you guys on the top of the old woman! You guys are awesome :)

PS: That doesn't sound right, does it?

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 25, 2014 - 07:22pm PT
This is an unapologetic "bump" for a good thread which deserves to be on the front page; better than the stuff simmering up to the boiling point as a cut-low festival!

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Mar 25, 2014 - 07:28pm PT
Too Much Fun!!

Trad climber
Salford (UK)
  Mar 31, 2014 - 12:37pm PT
You are an inspiration to us all.



Trad climber
Doylestown pa
  Mar 31, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
I'm a 65 year geezer, surgeons got a few body parts over the years, but still love climbing!

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
  Mar 31, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
You are an inspiration! Maybe some day I will be able to keep up.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, CA
  Apr 15, 2014 - 09:16pm PT
Good on ya!

As a geezer very much in training(41), I really enjoy seeing this.
And one of the reasons I have always enjoyed climbing, you are the only thing holding you back.
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
  Apr 16, 2014 - 01:13pm PT
Just read this yet again.
A wonderful presentation of what was obviously a great trip.
Philippe was my very first real climbing partner, at UCSB. We climbed
at Gibraltar Rock, Tahquitz and Yosemite.
Somehow I missed out on knowing Mike, John and Laurie, as best I can
I haven't actually seen Philippe in 40 years now, but came THIS CLOSE
at the Facelift last year. I stopped in at the Auditoreum on the one night that Philippe had stayed behind at Yellow Pines.
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