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alejozuloaga


May 8, 2006, 8:20 PM
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who's yabo
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I'm just trying to figure out who's this guy yabo that i hear so much of


horseonwheels


May 8, 2006, 8:55 PM
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John Yablonski. There are some good stories about him in Camp 4 by Steve Roper.


giza


May 8, 2006, 9:09 PM
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Yabo

http://i16.photobucket.com/...draft/yabaho0123.jpg


Partner cactusedd


May 8, 2006, 10:10 PM
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John Yablonski’s narrow escapes from certain annihilation have become the stuff of legends, but one hair-raising story that remains untold is about that cold January afternoon he made an impulsive decision to hitch hike up to Castle to spend the winter living in the cave the now bears his name. Standing with his thumb out at the bottom of the hill in Saratoga, clutching a modest bedroll, a 15-year-old Yabo watched apprehensively as an old white Chevy with a black tinted windshield pulled over. When the back door swung open, John jumped in only to discover – much to his dismay - that his fellow travelers were five evil-looking low riders from East San Jose with glazed eyes and sheepish grins. Before he could reconsider his poor choice of rides, the old Chevy roared off and began racing up US 9 at breakneck speeds, passing cars around blind turns on the inside, swerving back and forth across the center line, playing chicken with oncoming traffic. All the while his fellow travelers (except for the out-of-control driver) sat frozen motionless staring straight ahead as if hypnotized. Then, as if on cue, when the car turned left onto Skyline Boulevard at Saratoga Gap, his newfound friends suddenly roused from their collective torpor, opened up switchblades and began carving elegant arabesques in the air. Realizing that these few terrifying moments might very well be his last, Yabo opened the car door at forty mph and jumped head-first into eternity out over the stone guard wall toward the Pacific sunset. A few nano-seconds later, landing on his feet as usual, John picked up his bedroll and dusted himself off, none the worse for the cart wheeling cannonball fall he had just taken 50 feet straight down the steep rock strewn embankment below Skyline Boulevard. Was this the first instance of the infamous Yabo half-twist dismount? If you look closely, the smoke from the smoldering little campfire he built that soggy evening still blackens the roof at the back of the Yabo cave.

Taken from the website, http://www.bayareaclimbers.com/morris

Climbing ran a really good biography on Yabo a year or two ago if you're interested in finding out more about him.

Regards,
Edd


socialclimber


Nov 4, 2006, 4:52 AM
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He is mentioned alot in Lynn Hills autobiography too. Didn't he solo alot?


miademus


Jan 15, 2007, 12:33 PM
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...i think it was that famous soloist from u.k. not sure,

ps:funny is that in our language yabo is called an donkey in an infromal way.


shimanilami


Jan 18, 2007, 10:58 AM
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The tree opposite Short Circuit is still bent in his honor.

From what I have heard from those who knew him well, his boldness rivaled Bachar's. His death was a tragic loss to the climbing world.


superbum


Apr 7, 2007, 10:59 PM
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I know that he climbed way better than I do, proven by my last trip to Josh where I dogged my way up the ultra hard, awkward smooth Spider line. Yep, the first (non-toprope) ascent of that bitch was a solo by Yabo...I did flash the Yabo Roof boulder problem though! After cheating death so many times, he eventually took his own life.


trundlebum


Nov 7, 2007, 4:02 PM
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I could write a number of my own 'Yabo' stories

Yes yabo soloed the first non top rope of Spiderline in Josh.
He soloed 'Short circuit' first (I think)
He most likely is the 'air time' king, with enough personally logged air time for a full commercial licence.

He once took a huge screamer up above heart ledge, he told me, he was about 120 feet out no pro, he came off and was stopped (once again miraculously) about 10 feet above the ledge. His rope had looped a flake during the fall. He sprained his ankle and wanted to continue but his partner (with whom was trying to do a speed ascent of either Salathe' or the Triple direct not sure).... Bailed immediately after he saw that.

Yabo told me he soloed 'The Good Book' on the right side of the 'Folly' and fell out of the end of the 10.d layback.
(how do you do that and live?)

having had known Yabo, I am not sure if it is correct to say:
"After cheating death so many times, he eventually took his own life. "

Yabo was very a disturbed individual. He was tormented and wanted to go. that is part of why he soloed. Oft He was seen yelling and punching himself in the face until he was completely black and blue.

I think yabo was not cheating death... more like he was simply tormented by life. He finally just did himself in, but it always just a question of time. I don't think anybody expected to see yabo as an old man.

To say "Yabo was as bold as Bachar"
I would say... hardly. Bachar is not mad. He makes very calm and calculated decisions.
Yabo was completely driven by maniacal emotional levels and a super weak ego.
He would do almost anything for recognition.
Yabo told me his father was a psycho, marine drill instructor type, that constantly belittled him and told him he was a disgrace.

If his father had 1/2 a clue that Yabo's travelling, climbing and emotional expeditions would bury 1/2 the marines I have met.... he might have had a little more respect for the mind he is partially responsible for corrupting.

Most of my stories involving Yabo regard our interaction after a women came between us. He would hunt me in the valley and constantly threaten me etc...

One spring time, my first night in the valley, I was in front of the bar. I saw yabo and thought 'rut row'. Sure enough he came right over and started to harass and threaten me.
At the time Bob Scarpelli was standing right there. He listened to yabo for a minute or two, then told'm something to the effect of, "you touch a hair on my buddy's head, if he tells me you so much as lay a hand on him, I will kill you and bury you in a shallow grave."

Yabo immediately split. I thanked Mr. Scarpelli but asked why he did that as, at the time we were not all that good buddies.

Bob replied that he was just so tired of Yabo's incessant, maniacal ravings...

Over the years I have thought of Yabo many times.
Memories of him waking up in the rescue camp lockers (the old metal crematorium boxes) and immediately popping a warm beer.
Seeing him training, running through the valley meadows with a fully loaded rucksack etc...

One thought I keep returning to:
"although Yabo was (obviously) his own greatest threat, and even though he verbally threatened me (for years)...
Yabo was actually a pretty compassionate guy under it all. I never knew him to act out his aggression towards someone else. I never knew him to hurt (other than emotionally the women he got involved in.) another person.

Do I sound like I respect Yabo ? Well in a way I do.
To me yabo represents that dark, ugly side of fear and insecurity, that we all battle every day. He was like a physical manifestation of a story book, or more a human owners manual. You know the chapter "how to not let your mind get the best of you and torment your whole existence" <--- Yabo was the little picture/graphic at the chapter start.

Yabo was like walking bundle of pure ego. He would not think twice to tell someone they were wrong, or a whimp etc... In a twisted sort of way he exemplified (to me) all the ego and drama that climbers like to pretend they are not personally affected by.
Yabo freely admitted it !

I've attached, what I think is just the all time classic pic' of Yabo. The image is from George Meyers picture book "Yosemite climber'

(This post was edited by trundlebum on Nov 7, 2007, 4:04 PM)
Attachments: wheatthin.jpg (130 KB)


munky


Nov 8, 2007, 4:21 AM
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Thanks for the insight Trundlebum. I've always been intrigued by Yabo, Bachar, Sorenson, Long, etc. and read a much on the times. It truly seems like it was an amazing time to be a climber, much more free and wild than now. The stuff you guys had first crack at back then with no prior info, nor cams, truly amazing. I try to do a climb once a month leading with just stoppers and hexes to experience what it was like. Although I'm an east coaster who is stuck mostly playing around on the little cliffs like NRG, Looking Glass, Gunks, etc. I did manage do my first Grade V last season while I was in Yosemite. Me and my partner climbed the Harding Route on Mt. Conness. I can't wait to go back next summer and try some other ones. Anyways, thanks again for some personal stories.

Munky


trundlebum


Nov 8, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Munky:
I am almost a little flumoxed by your post.
You may or may not realize, I was a total and committed climbing bum from the age of 15 till about 24. Then I moved to Hawai'i and became a surf bum. I pretty much lost complete touch with the climbing world, until about 9 months ago when I started climbing again.
I have found that the climbing has not changed much, but the society of climbing is very different. This is to be expected when you have a burgeoning population of new climbers, and society at large. Society at large has changed pretty seriously since the late 70's early 80's. I will try desperately not to get on a patriotic, socio-political rant. But this BS about 9/11 and terrorism is Just that BS. BS designed to get the citizenry to roll over and hand off their civil rights, which they apparently are all to willing to do these days.
Munky, you said "It truly seems like it was an amazing time to be a climber, much more free and wild than now."
True, it was, but all of our society was more free. I started climbing when I was 13. By the time I was 15 I was a committed 'rock rat'. I have been cross country, coast to coast, by land, more times than I have fingers to count them with. By the time I was 20 years old I had hitch hiked so many miles with my trusty rig (a full sized Kelty Serac frame pack, with my rack and rope inside my canvas Chuck Roast, alpine pack)... That I was a veteran of the interstate highway systems. I hitched from Boston to North Conway N.H on a regular basis in my late teens. That turned into trips from Santa Cruz CA. (where I moved to be closer to Yosemite) to Joshua Tree, Colorado, Wyoming etc...
The freedom and adventure, wow, it's gone now, never to be seen again. One year in Josh' I was with my girl friend and she had to get back to Santa Cruz for work, I did not. So the morning she was packing her car in 'Hidden valley campground', I walked up to her and said "I am not going home today"! I didn't, I stayed another week. I had the time, coffee, frijoles and buds. As I expected, the hitch home took less than a day and 1/2.
That same Girlfriend and I hitched from Leadville CO, to Boulder, through Denver, Alamosa, Albuquerque and on to Josh' (that was just after X-mass sometime around 80 -81'ish)

I remember one time, at the start of valley, spring season, Yabo shows up in camp looking a little ragged. After a couple days I was hanging with some guys and he was there, most others floated off leaving Yabo and I. We got to talking and he told me he looked like shit because he was on his way to the valley from Josh and somewhere out in the desert he was picked up by three huge 'jar heads'. At the side of the road, in the middle of the night, one thing lead to another at a piss stop. Yabo wound up grappling with them, smacking some heads together and took off running across the desert.
There he was in the dark of night, high speed, high stepping through the Barstow desert. He lost his pack and that meant his shoes, so he was climbing lately in his burned out tennis sneakers.
Now ok, I hitched 100's of k miles and my worst experience was being propositioned by a pudgy, gay guy. Understand that yabo's (one mentioned) ordeal was no doubt greatly precipitated by Yabo's own ornery attitude, but you have to give'm credit, THREE MARINES COULD NOT TAKE HIM DOWN!

Speaking of that sort of thing, anyone remember the original, first ever, 'Survival of the fittest'?
I would pay handsomely for a copy of Kaulk whooping (in under 14 seconds) the marine 'hand to hand combat specialist' in pungy stick fighting on a Burma bridge. Or in that same competition after the cross country run, Bridewell smoking a Camel as the subsequent competitors crossed the finish line.

There was a freedom in those days.
Of course we did not enjoy the freedom that Chouinard, Pratt, Gonzo, RR etc.. enjoyed. The stories of Chouinard in the service are quite entertaining.

These days you see adds for spandex clad 'sports warriors' scaling artificial walls on cruise ships.
When I was 18, I was hitching once up into Crawford Notch (N.H) to go ice climbing. I was alone so I was just going to go up and solo 'willeys slide' a casual 600 -800' hard snow and occasional ice bulge smear in the woods.
I got picked up by a guy and his young son in a chevy pick up. I felt safe (at first), I saw and verbally confirmed that he was a local fire fighter. He asked me what I was up (looking at my axe and crampons). I told him and he started slowly, and worked himself almost into a frenzy. He started off saying climbers were reckless, that matured to a full on scold session. You need to understand a few things about the times. First there was no such thing as a 'Mountain search and rescue team' in the Mount Washington valley at the time. There were two factions that made SAR missions, the local volunteer climbers and the local fire fighters. The fire fighters at the time had little or no training, they hated mountain rescue and they resented climbers for being the ones that put them in the jeopardized position. It was rarely climbers and almost never local climbers that needed rescue, but that is neither here nor there. The point being:
In the late 70's it was NOT COOL to be a climber. Climbers were social outcasts, 'wing nuts' that were more akin to street people and cowboys than to normal society dwellers. That was just fine with climbers because it meant we still had a society that tolerated people that could do world class routes, across many states, for months at a time, all on a few hundred dollars.

Today our society is much larger and much more homogenized, that includes the climbing community. The climbing community used to be a much more tight knit 'fraternity' now it is more like a giant sports club. Years ago a climber could enter an area, not even be particularly liked, but still find a couch at a local's place, just for the asking.

I think the major changes I see in our climbing and American society are the lack of self determination and self reliance. American's in general now, don't want to take responsibility for themselves. If they get hurt, it is someone else's fault and therefore liability. Climbers today are typically very 'yuppie', it's like the day of the 'dirt baggers' is gone forever, not just because no one wants to dirt bag any more, but because it is not tolerated. It was not uncommon to find a traveling climber far from any crag, spending the night with the 'hobo jungle' boiz in the rail yard at the edge of town. These days there is no 'hobo jungle'. We as a society have little or no tolerance for people that make their own way, when what they have is very little.

This thread was about yabo.
He was a bizarre cat, but he was determined, self determined. He had his issues. He resented life. Many times I had seen him crying, smacking himself in the head and ranting to God "you pussy, you pussy, why do you keep me here? Why won't you let me go, cuz your a pussy God! You don't want me in heaven and you won't let me go to hell, make up your mind God!" All this precipitated usually by the end of a short lived romance. He would be ranting then just walk off. You might hear 1/2 hr later in camp "Ohhh my God, you wouldn't believe what yabo just did over at..."

Once I was in the Valley, with a girl that was and issue between Yabo and I.
The gal and I decided to hitch up to Tuolumne to climb (and get away from Yabo in the Valley).
There we stood at the end of Camp4 hitching. We did not want to stand at the good spot by the gas station
(that I understand is not there any more along with thank god, that hideous 1930's era power switching station that was in the corner of the camp by the gas station)
Ok, so we get a ride. It's small pick up truck pulling over. As soon as we had all gear in the back and were climbing into the bed... who jumps runs out of the tress and jumps right in with us ?
My girlfriend (who had already been through hell and high water yabo antics) began to talk to him in a calm yet official tone. She asked what he thought he was doing etc..?
Yabo, in nothing but shorts, T-shirt and tenny's rode all the way to the Meadows. As we put on jackets and hats he sat there fighting the cold. We got to the Meadows and thought we had seen the last of him for at least that night since we ditched him at the general store. we decided not to make a camp until after dark (to avoid a Yabo visit in the night) so we went to burn, and use the last of the daylight at the base of a dome (forget the name).
Ohh shit... here comes yabo walking up the dome straight towards us, with that typical 'haaa'ah' look and attitude of his. I was honestly somewhat afraid, he was a couple years older and had way more strength and anger than I ever would.
However there was no violence, no physical confrontation. He sat and surprisingly was quite polite. He asked permission to hang out. Not having the balls to say 'NFW' I/ we allowed him to stay. He actually said "may I please hang out? just for a while? I just want to be with you guys, I don't want to be alone OK?"
He mentioned wanting a smoke, so I gave him my bag of 'Bugler' and the papers. he rolled a cig' but asked about ref'. I bust out. I was so nervous and it was such crap weed I just keep scrolling them out and he kept lighting them up. As we hung out, he did most of talking. He was visually mellowing out. His conversation was not all (typically) full of blood, guts and anger stories.
I surprisingly felt my fear and anxiety melting into some kind of twisted compassion. I could see myself in him or I should say a part of me, a part of all of the climbing community of the times. He was torn between worlds. He was told 'A' was the way, but knew only 'B' to be true.
Shortly before dark, my girl friend started to tell him "you have to go now Yabo..."
He stood up, and calmly said "OK, I'll split", he walked about 10 paces up the dome then turned around and like a Jekel and Hyde thing, in an instant his eyes were bloodshot and full of tears, he blurted out, with a wave of his hand, "it doesn't matter, none of it matters, fuck it all, there is no love, no love in this world, it's all show, there is no real connections between people, people just use people and toss them away..."
With that he literally ran off up the dome and with descending darkness, in shorts, T-shirt and burned out Addidas, he run off and soloed the 'water cracks'.
We heard a few days later that he was back at the general store just before closing, with a quart in his hand, shivering like mad. Some climber gave'm a blanket and a pad for the night.
I did not see him again for months and months. I would see him at a distance, running, training, harassing etc.. in the Valley, but he never approached me, or mentioned the girl again.

Yeah he was sick, no doubt. To me Yabo was very much like the boy in 'Equus' that was so passionate that he could not be understood or fit into society. Passion is what drives us, we applaud it in palatable doses but in turn get wigged out when we see it in a completely raw form.

Munky, you mention:
"I try to do a climb once a month leading with just stoppers and hexes to experience what it was like"
Two thoughts comes to mind.
1. The no cams. well we had the schiznit, we had stoppers and hexcentrics! In other words you do with what you have and if you haven't even invented it yet, you sure don't miss it.
2. I see a lot of new gear these days. I see a lot of climbers that have pure cam racks, maybe a few wireds. I think is it because I am getting back into climbing and using my old gear? No! ... I don't understand full cam racks unless you are at 'Indian creek'. The more climbing I do (I have a shit load ((triples)) of cams now) the more I feel like "you can have my small selection of stoppers and hex's, when you pry them from my cold dead fingers".
You can only carry and place so much gear on any given pitch
In almost all climbing areas, the cracks are featured enough that 50/50 a passive piece is going to go in just above or below that cam placement. yah might have to fidget it in a tad however, often a hex goes in faster, is lighter to carry less to leave (if you had to) and easier to pop out, than a cam.

Munky, you mentioned:
"Me and my partner climbed the Harding Route on Mt. Conness"
1. the Sierra Nevada is perhaps the crown jewel range of the lower 48.
2. You want a real taste for the balls and stamina the real old fut's had? Sometime check out "Gonzo's" route on Keeler needle, Mount Whitney. Imagine 5.10+ offwidth at just below 14,000 feet elevation. Now to really do it right and true to the first ascentionist's style, you would probably have to have a wine skin along that you a pulling frequent tugs from.

In getting back into this climbing thing, and posting here, I am getting back in touch. Recently in a sport versus trad' thread I was told "the lines have been drawn, pick your side?"
I am a rock climber. To me that means more than clipping bolts and jug hauling at the gym. For me, being a rock climber is a way of life (I am returning to).
A way of life that exudes and takes pride in self determination and self reliance, pride yet compassion.

re: sport/ trad
last summer I was up at Squamish for a week. It was my first time on granite in decades :)
I met these two young gals from the Bay area. They were Valley climbers and quite solid. In conversation I heard one of them say "ha... sport, I have seen 5.12 sport climbers chewed up and spit out by a 5.9 valley hand crack"
Last night in the gym, a teenage climber friend of mine came over and with exuberance said to me "guess what I bought the other day?" I knew so I laughed and said "a swami belt". He was stoked a sexy black 2" webbing swami he was now the proud owner of. I asked him how much it cost. he said .70 a foot so about $7.80 or so. He said "I can't believe it, I like it, I took a fall it was no big deal, the scrapes were more attention than the ribs, but the freedom in the meantime is way cool. It's amazing, just a swami (webbing) and some runners (webbing), a couple of nuts and rope and your all set for ooodles of climbing. I am gunna learn the old ways and simplify my climbing, I want to learn the hip and shoulder belay as well as a body rappel (just in case one day..).

I laughed and said "No way man, in order to have fun, be safe and look cool, you need goretex jackets, spandex, cams, quickdraws with little rubber bungies to hold the biners, a daisy chain, three different belay devices and two lenghts of rope... or don't show up at my sport crag to do a 120'pitch, protected by 8 bolts and ending with a sport anchor. Or well, just don't expect me to talk to you anyway." lol

My hat is off to all young people that follow the natural progression. (to me) That being:
learn to climb self reliantly, with a modicum of gear, have respect for the pioneers, and keep in mind "rock climbing is a subset of climbing(alpinism)in general and well... sport is sport!

While the sporty's snarl at each other in contempt for less than stellar hang sessions, then go home in their SUV to their huge mortgage and job in the morning...
Us 'rock climbers' will still be in camp, sitting by the fire, swapping stories, sharing the libations, looking out for one another and just generally,

'keeping the faith'

Thank you for the kind words Munky and...
'keep the faith' ;)

ps. just for giggles I attached a (shitty, grainey, 30 yr old, 110 instamatic) image.
I took it of my buddy. The shot is circa 1975'. It was taken at the start of route #16, just after you get off the I-95 headed from Boston to the Mount washington Valley/ N.conway N.H. We were a couple of commited 15 yr olds on our way to the crags ;) You could do it in those days!
Attachments: Bradley_hitchn.jpg (91.0 KB)


ryanb


Nov 8, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Best post I have read on this site.


zealotnoob


Nov 8, 2007, 1:30 PM
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Awesome! Thanks trundlebum.


dingus


Nov 8, 2007, 2:15 PM
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Trundlebum thanks man. That was awesome.

A counter point however - the wide open lonesome is STILL out there.

I promise you, it is. I'm too old for it and so are you but damnit there are still white spaces on the edge of the maps!

I don't have time to scan it right now... a 1976 photo of my buddy Steve climbing an aid route with me, wearing jeans and jean jacket, a construction hat and cowboy boots! Standing in aiders!

I remember reading a Roman-era letter translation written by a wife to a Roman Legion soldier off fighting some endless and pointless war.

Now I surmise the translator took some liberties but that letter? It talked about the mundane goings on about life. Washing the clothes, taking care of the kids, what the neighbors were up to, etc.

What struck me was how ordinary it sounded. There were no technological references in the letter (ie Cams and screamers and sticky rubber). It was completely domestic, 2000 years old and it could have been yesterday. In fact, and sadly for us, that same letter was written yesterday by hundreds if not thousands of distant loved ones. Even more will be written today.

Right now as I type this, some lonely husband or wife is typing a 2000 year old letter.

Climbing is like that too my brother. I feel a direct connection to Otzi


and Whymper and Comici and Whillans (most of all haha) and Robbins and Gonzo, right through to the Stonemasters to today.

As much as things have changed you know what hasn't changed one friggin bit?

The sound of a biner snapping home after you drop the rope in the basket. The smell of granite dust in your rope. The black of aluminum oxide. The feeling of trashed fingernails after a wall climb. The utter exhaustion of having given your all, whether its the 13th hang fest on a memorization project or top out day on the big stone.

Even in our well known and well mapped Sierra there are rocks and routes, cliff faces and major lines STILL to be done.

My noob days started in '73 with a goldline rope, some Liberty biners, some nuts and webbing and Beginner's and onto Advanced Rockcraft.

The world has turned no doubt. Climbing is not fringe now, extreeeeeeeem is in!

But a climbing letter 2000 years from now? I think we'd be able to read and understand it my friend, just as they could ours. Just as these kids can yours.

Cheers dude and thanks again
DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Nov 8, 2007, 2:16 PM)


dingus


Nov 8, 2007, 2:19 PM
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By the way trundlebum - do you read the supertopo.com forum?

It'll be like a Homecoming for you (if you haven't)

DMT


trundlebum


Nov 8, 2007, 4:35 PM
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Wow, wow, wow...
Thank you all for the kudos.

ryanb --> "Best post I have read on this site." Wow %)

re: dingus post:
Thank you as well, you sound like a 'brother in arms'.

As to the '2000' year old letter...
That is one of the amazing things I have found in climbing.

Climbs are like solid, yet unforgiving friends.
They are consistent in their relationship. They never give you lip service, they always tell it as it is.
"you're in better shape than you thought, or perhaps today you are really ON" or maybe years later...
"You flubbery, blubbery, you've been in a computer chair to long, and you have narry a realistic sense of your physical condition"

They are like old friends. 10's of thousands of years old, friends.
Friends that will never let you down, friends that will always be with you forever.

Bob Dylan:
"well I been weak and hard like an oak. I have seen pretty people disappear like smoke. Friends will arrive and friends will disappear..."

Well Bob, I have some friends that not only will see me to my grave, just might in turn be my grave.

Perhaps I should not incriminate myself this way but what the hell, were all enjoying this thread ...
(if only yabo himself could be here to sneer at it lol)

At the end of September I went to Lone pine to meet and old partner, to do the East face of Whitney.
I arrived on a Wednesday night, for a Thursday noon rendezvous. I arrived just as the sun was setting. I had a beer (or two) on the drive over from Vegas and was mega hungry, yet at the same time just amped to get out into the Alabama hills if nothing else. So after a buzz through Lone Pine's 'Big Mac's I zipped out to the hills.
OMG ! as the days light was just disappearing, the big 'ole full moon was coming up over the Whites.
Even though I had just eaten a double cheeseburger, I decided this was going to be a lifelong memory type evening, so I had some fungae for desert.
I hung out in the Hills for a while, then drove up to the portal.
I got out of the car and wham! Sugar pine scent OMG! How long, how long?
Driving back down the mountain I stopped ever now and again and got out and walked across the road and felt, sniffed and yes even tasted the Sierra granite.
I stayed at the hairpin until I felt the fungae kicking in.
Knowing I was just going to crash out in the boulders of the Hills that night, I headed that way.
Back in the Hills, under the full moon,
I racked my gear for the next day, bouldered a little and then at one point as i was walking I crossed a wash. not a wash like a desert wash, this was just pure Sierra granite sand and light gravel. I sat down, then lay back on it. I wound up doing 'snow angels' in the stuff, I was in Heaven.
Some of my gear is pretty oxidized and it does not take much handling to have as I did, a good amount of it on my hands.
At one point I was flat on my back, all alone in the Hills, under a full moon, holding hands full of granite dust up to my face and breathing in it's fragrance. It had been sooo long. I was now geo shocking. I came from the east, usually I would be climbing the gentle west side to get to the granite.
I had never seen the 'east side'. I had wanted to all my life. I was in a new area to me, yet... I was in California, for the first time in a quarter of a century.
For a time span of almost 1/2 my life i was away, now I was close... I was almost back in the throne room of the Sierra. Yosemite was just right over those mountains, I could smell it now.
My heart soared
I cried.
So many miles, so many years away.
So many people lost to the hills or their own overdose of passion elsewhere.
I cried, and thanked myself for being good enough to myself to make it back, once again.
I thanked my ancestry for looking over me and perhaps at times helping to steer me away from a damaging decision, now and again.
And above all,
I thank the mountains.
My beloved Sierra Nevada.
I thanked them for having me back !

I thank you 'Dingus':
for your reminder/comment about the fact:
That we all love this activity, we love it like life itself, some of else can't live a complete life if we don't get to do it. Get to climb that is. Because like any passion, it's to deep rooted to be defined. Scientists say we climbed down out of trees. My parents told me that before I could walk, I would climb over the bars of my crib and crawl down the hall. I used to wrap my toes around the bars (yes they case'd me out one night they say).
Hawaiians were awesome and fearless as were the Anasazi when it came to dealing with exposure. And as you say dingus, these were almost contemporary cultures relative to the millenia of which we have been 'falling upwards'

Dingus, re:
"I feel a direct connection to Otzi"

I have a good friend in Hawai'i. A good folky type song writer.
He wrote a song that I really liked and latter found out he wrote as his own (to be someday) funeral song:

"So Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed to,
I want to thank you all for getting me through.
And all the other Gods that slipped my mind...
I want to thank you to,
I had a real good time!

Thank you and Aloha:
'ryanb'
'dingus'
and all of you/us... or
anybody/everybody
with the passion
to 'Fall Upwards'

And BTW dingus, no I have not,
but by your suggestion
I will check out the super topo forum TY M8 ;)


tolman_paul


Mar 6, 2008, 4:06 PM
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Trundlebum,

Thanks for sharing your experiencces.

While I agree with your comments about society changing for the worse, it has in areas, but in other ways there are still great areas of the country and decent folks to climb with.

I found Alaska to truly be the last frontier, and still to a large degree attitudes are much more supportive and open minded. I think we you get masses of people they just go insane and try and add rules on top of rules. Here to a large degree is live and let live.

I never did the climbing bum thing, but was pretty active in college. Then I got married, had kids, and pretty much took a hiatus for the past 13 years.

The funny thing is even though now I can't climb nearly as hard as I could, I find the climbing is even more meaningful, and I'm just as inspired if not moreso.

There are still some amazing places where folks could be climbing bums and put up amazing climbs, but it would be even more committing than it was back in the day.


trundlebum


Mar 6, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Re: [tolman_paul] who's yabo [In reply to]
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tolman_paul:

I see you over on 'spertaco' plenty ;)

I opologize if I gave the impression that I was making any statement that society was "worse" than a few decades ago. It is all just part of the cyclical morphs that any society can expect.

As you say there are still gads of places where one or even a group can pursue a simple experience. However I was expressing that it seems like it would be much more difficult, if possible at all to do it on such a thin shoe string as you could. If you took inflation and cost of living into account, it still will cost you more to get around these days. Or so I thought...

Just a few days ago I was at a friends house watching climbing porn flicks with all the typical actors, Potter, Caldwell, Rodden, Trotter etc..
The house was a typical college, music, climber, biker type enviroment. I got to talking to one guy that said just last summer he hitched from Vegas to Boise then onto Seattle, down to San Fran and back. That blew my mind!
So it is possible still yet. The same basic rules of thumb and law still seem to remain. From what I was told, the only real change has been in the potential rides. Individuals are less apt these days yet funny, truckers are more apt then back then.

You do have to be significantly more patient in waiting for rides, but they happen.
However these days there's the internet and any crafty 'networker' can do awesome juggling that was impossible 15 years ago.

With re to Hiatus and rekindled stoke and comraderie:
I understand entirely ;)
Keep the magic alive !
I'd love to reply to that but this is a Yabo thread.
Hopefully he rests peacefully.

Yabo and Calif. Condors, both endangered species. One is flourishing.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=535204

He didn't smile often, but when he did...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=49087


tolman_paul


Mar 6, 2008, 5:25 PM
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I watched Yabo bouldering at Castle Rock, sadly it was shortly before he took his own life.

I don't know what it is about artists and great achievers in many activities, but it seems they are often driven by demons.

Not all soloists are driven by them though, I met both John Bachar and Peter Croft in the early 90's, and they were both just very focused mentally.


rasoy


Mar 6, 2008, 9:35 PM
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Re: [tolman_paul] who's yabo [In reply to]
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Yabo didn't free solo Short Circuit, he fell off and almost died. I should know since me and Sutton caught Yabos ass before he hit the ground.


clausti


Mar 6, 2008, 10:19 PM
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didnt lynn hill call yabo's soloing habit a series of "failed suicide attempts" in her book?


ozoneclimber


Mar 6, 2008, 11:32 PM
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As Paul said, it's still out there. I was brought up differently than most of my generation. I respect you greatly for your experiences and your insights. I too have hitch hiked cross country, it definitely takes a lot of patience, a lot more than my father says it used to. I now have a baby on the way, and feel the world encroaching, almost painfully, but it's just another step, one that many of us make.

Climbing is to me, what a pace-maker is to a heart disease patient. It defines me, I need it to survive. And the sad thing is that I only just recently realized this.

I am easily less than half your age, yet I still lived on in the same vein. We are still out there. Even though I have to live differently now, and can't live on ten dollars a week and live in a tent for a year, I will be raising my daughter to realize, and recognize, that it is a big beautiful world out there, and it's her's to see, her's to have run of, her's to do as she sees fit in. I will raise her to know these stories, these beautiful tales that will be told around my campfire till the day I die.

And believe me, there will always be a fire.

-Bobby


(This post was edited by ozoneclimber on Mar 6, 2008, 11:33 PM)


drljefe


Mar 13, 2008, 5:12 PM
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Yabo, on acid, was the first to envision the moves of Midnight Lightning- still one of the best boulder problems on earth.


GeneralBenson


Mar 27, 2008, 7:33 PM
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trundlebum wrote:
tolman_paul:

I see you over on 'spertaco' plenty ;)

I opologize if I gave the impression that I was making any statement that society was "worse" than a few decades ago. It is all just part of the cyclical morphs that any society can expect.

As you say there are still gads of places where one or even a group can pursue a simple experience. However I was expressing that it seems like it would be much more difficult, if possible at all to do it on such a thin shoe string as you could. If you took inflation and cost of living into account, it still will cost you more to get around these days. Or so I thought...

Just a few days ago I was at a friends house watching climbing porn flicks with all the typical actors, Potter, Caldwell, Rodden, Trotter etc..
The house was a typical college, music, climber, biker type enviroment. I got to talking to one guy that said just last summer he hitched from Vegas to Boise then onto Seattle, down to San Fran and back. That blew my mind!
So it is possible still yet. The same basic rules of thumb and law still seem to remain. From what I was told, the only real change has been in the potential rides. Individuals are less apt these days yet funny, truckers are more apt then back then.

You do have to be significantly more patient in waiting for rides, but they happen.
However these days there's the internet and any crafty 'networker' can do awesome juggling that was impossible 15 years ago.

With re to Hiatus and rekindled stoke and comraderie:
I understand entirely ;)
Keep the magic alive !
I'd love to reply to that but this is a Yabo thread.
Hopefully he rests peacefully.

Yabo and Calif. Condors, both endangered species. One is flourishing.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=535204

He didn't smile often, but when he did...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=49087

The spirit is definately still there. I think there's just as many people with the spirit now, but there's just a whole bunch more people that don't have it. If you stripped away all the quasi-climbers, maybe it would be the same. I once told someone that if climbing hasn't changed your life, than you're not a climber. I realize maybe that's a bit extreme, but it's really how I feel. Climbing has been such an influential part of my life. I'm a climber, not just someone who climbs. There's lots of things I do, and if you took them away I would still be the same. But if you take away climbing, you change who I am.

And don't worry, the spirit is still alive in North Conway. A month ago, I bailed early on a Presi Traverse, and within a few minutes at the AMc center, me and my buddy had a ride to our car. Last weekend, I was up, and the first night of camping, my tent blew over and broke. I didn't have the money for a hotel. I was at EMS and was talking to two guys I never met before, and mentioned what happened. One of the two guys was like, "I'm a member at a ski house, and I'm not supposed to have guests I don't know, but if you want to grab a beer first, that's good enough." So I stayed with him, and then with people I just met the next night too. The spirit is still alive, maybe just a little harder to find, surrounded by all the crap called the american dream, national security, and safegaurding your future.


cragmasterp


Mar 27, 2008, 7:57 PM
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excellent prose, A+ Mr. Trundlebum.

A rare pleasure indeed on this website.

Thank you, hope you enjoy your time back on the rock


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