Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fundraising Update

I put this check in the mail last week, $900 in all, and sent it off to the Bridwell family. I'm hoping that our efforts go a little distance toward helping out. Thank you to everyone who contributed time, patience, and some greenbacks to the project.

If you haven't checked out the latest copy of Alpinist yet, do so. There's a little piece in the "Off Belay" section that I wrote about the project. I'm pretty psyched on how it turned out. Thanks to Michael Kennedy, Katie Ives, and Erik Lambert for their editorial assistance--most of it was written in Cambodia and Patagonia over the past year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Help the Bird

¨The total commitment by each of us seems to bring the energy level to an unbelievable pitch. From an oblique corner of my mind, I perceive this energy flow to be seen and felt equally well by the others.¨ --Billy Westbay (RIP) from ¨Team Machine¨

From the beginning, this project has been an exercise in trust. My objectives now are simple:

1) Help the Bird financially
2) Keep the book in the community by donating it, if possible, to the Yosemite Climbing Museum

Ammon_Three Bivies

A document this unique deserves to be shared collectively.

Starting July 1, 2010, I´ll be accepting pledges to raise money for Jim Bridwell .

How to help:
Post your pledge in the comment section then send your contribution via PayPal using the button below. All pledges will be visible and public. On August 1, the pledge window will close and I´ll send the final pledge amount to Jim at his home in Palm Desert, California. Think about Jim´s contribution to this community over the past five decades, put a dollar figure to that -- and then double it! This is about community, trust, and helping one of our visionaries. Do what you can.

Postscript: If you have concerns about making a pledge over the internet and would like to assist Jim directly, write me [jackalope415 (at) gmail (dot) com] and I can help you contact him directly.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Paul Gagner: Reflections

I grew up in San Jose California. In 1977, as a junior in high school, I was introduced on a family camping trip to the Tetons to climbing and it immediately consumed me. As soon as I returned from that trip I went out and bought a Goldline rope and some chocks and started to teach myself how to climb – there was a lot of trial and error involved, and I was lucky that I didn’t kill myself. Two of the books that I read voraciously and that I could recite verbatim were George Meyer’s Yosemite Climber and Steve Roper’s Climbers Guide to Yosemite.

Yosemite Climber in particular was a seminal book and led to my big wall aspirations that I still hold on to today, 33 years later. I read the stories over and over and imagined myself in the photos, scaling the cracks, faces and walls of Yosemite. As a highly motivated teenager I made frequent pilgrimages to Yosemite – sometimes we would do the 8 hour roundtrip drive as a day trip, and other times I would stay in the valley for months on end. Before I had a
car my mom would drop me off in the valley where I would live in the dirt of Camp 4, like my predecessors, for 3-4 months at a time on $200-300 dollars before mom returned to pick me up. I lived the lifestyle depicted and celebrated in Yosemite Climber where being a dirt bag,scarfing at the cafeteria, canning, and avoiding the “ranger danger” to maximize the experience was intoxicating and powerful.

Even today, when I open Yosemite Climber, it takes me back in time, replete with the sights, and smells of Yosemite in the 70’s and 80’s, where it represents a carefree time in my life, and what was the beginning of a lifelong passion for climbing and the climbing lifestyle. As a teen this aspirational book was as important to stoking the fires of my dreams as any.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rik Reider. Tom Higgins.

"Land of magic...forge of of granite and life"

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kim Schmitz

Charlie Porter/Excalibur

Off the grid and into the wild

Nothing in Yosemite Climber has inspired me as much as the photo of Charlie Porter on the first ascent of Excalibur. A single, quiet man venturing into the massively intimidating architecture above. It´s the stuff of dreams. Charlie was the person I wanted most to have involved in this project but sadly I never found a way to get the book to him. By all accounts, he is a first-rate adventurer and a gentleman as well, and his routes have stood the test of time like few others. If you´re out there, Charlie, please get in touch!

Kevin Worral. Rick Accomazo.

¨Tobin would go¨

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ken Boche

"First ascents: Psychadelic Wall, 1966, Gobi Wall, 1969"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bulletin Board

1984 Patagonia catalog image

Happy New Year!

I'm writing from Buenos Aires where I'm staying for a short while before traveling to Patagonia for two or three months. The book continues its ambulatory tour of old friends and far-flung outposts of the tribe.

The last I heard, several additions have been made including Roger Breedlove, Spencer Lennard, Steve Sutton, Rick Accomazo, and internet climbing historian Steve Grossman. As soon as I get copies of their signatures those images will be posted.

I've really been touched by the outpouring of support for this project, the goodwill it has generated, and the way it has reconnected so many climbers from a previous generation of visionaries. In a small way, this makes climbing more than just climbing, and more like community.

George Meyers original image