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Everything posted by Cairns

  1. Squamish brochure: what route?

    The railroad and the tourismos should compare thoughts on where to go and what to do. Rap in for that climb. Tickets have been given lately for walking in along the tracks.
  2. First Ascent Psychology

    = Shepp? bit of a departure namewise from "Shepp's 13" and "Shepp's other 13"
  3. Today at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver I met some young climbers, one from Switzerland and one from Vancouver. On the bus trip to the park they got directions on where to climb from someone they met by chance. They said he was an older person, Polish, named Miroslav (or possibly Miloslav), who had climbed Makalu. Does anyone recognize who that might be?
  4. Seeking info on Polish climber

    Pra = old Szczur = rat
  5. Seeking info on Polish climber

  6. Seeking info on Polish climber

    So it turns out Dru was right, there is an Eastern European night at vimff. I went to hear Piotr talk about his climbing life and try to track down Makalu Miroslaw. There were about 100 people and all speaking non-English. Finally I saw someone I know, a nurse, and learned she has been the organizer of Eastern European night for the past 8 years. I didn't know there were going to be movies. The first one was called Grandpa (Praszczura) about an 80 year old parapenter. I learned my first word of Polish but it turns out to be useless because none of my Polish colleagues recognize it and they deny it is Polish. Praszczur does appear in 2 Polish dictionaries but in one it means great grandson and in the other great great grandfather's father. I can see why a person wouldn't often come across the word. The movie about the Grandpa was made by a Miroslaw Dembinski. Another interesting finding was that all winter ascents of 8000 meter peaks have been made by Polish expeditions. At intermission I saw one other person I know, Don Serl, and he offered a theory courtesy of the Burgess brothers that Poles are good at high altitude because of being used to the necessary diet of sausage. The nurse organizer of the evening thought that the Makalu climber might be someone called Mirek who apparently fits the description given by the kids on the bus. I don't know yet whether this Miroslav Makalu infirm oldster series will converge.
  7. 5 Worst Routes in PNW

    You open yourself to the charge of being easily amused but I see a difference between the climate at Vantage and the climbing, which you seem to blur. At times in my own career I have enjoyed climbing at Quincy Quarries, UW Rock, and even less imposing locations, so call me easily amused, too. Since my last entry on this subject I have a new worst route to ponder - Bad Pants Party at Squamish. Unclean, ambiguous line, broken by ledges, an extremely hard move or two, and product of a broken relationship as if you needed to be told. According to the FA he did not want it put in the new guide.
  8. Colorado Guidebooks

    Don't underrate CO. It may not be as big as BC, except on road maps, but you have to remember how many super duper climbers live there. Sorry to have nothing of substance to add unless you want to borrow or preferably keep all my old Climbing and R&I.
  9. Seeking info on Polish climber

    I think he's in town for Eastern European Night at the VIMFF, Miroslav Smid? Well, if so maybe Piotr will know. Maybe Allan gave him directions to the climbing at LHP which he passed along to the guys on the bus. Maybe a Swiss citizen can't tell the difference between Polish and Czech. All of these mysteries must and will be resolved. One thing for sure, the climbing at Lighthouse would be below radar for CPB.
  10. "Grand Wall" Conditions? *DELETED*

    Just above the inverted layback pitch, the area called "The Flats" tends to get the most drainage. It is low angle and done often enough that the face climbing can be done wet as long as you use the same holds everyone else has. This time of year there might be some debris to deal with. I think the trickiest part to do wet would be the mantle a little ways off the top of the Split Pillar. Everything else would be reasonably secure even if wet. I'd suggest rapping from the top of the inverted layback.
  11. I vote for your avatar image of the cat's mouth with a tapeworm looking out it and tossing a hairball.
  12. Pictures thread

    Futuristic! You found a whole new side of the formation. On the subject of pictures, the entries to the photo contest were excellent. The submissions were inspirational and affirmative. One could almost see and hear Julie Andrews prancing in an alpine meadow. However, the darker side of climbing was overlooked. Not the infinite possibilities of psychological torment or the art of physical suffering at high altitudes, just the mundane misery every climber knows a little about. A woman reviewer had this to say about a book written by men about their relationships with women: I found the stories to be well-written and honest and funny, but most of them lacked an important element, something every woman looks for in a man - raw emotion. A few pictures of raw emotion then: A girl walking home from school in Toronto: THE ART OF SUFFERING UNCOMFORTABLE SLEEPING PLACES: SUFFERING COLD HANDS OR FEET: SUFFERING THROUGH A NURSING SCHOOL CLASS LISTENING TO INSPIRATIONAL AND AFFIRMATIVE MESSAGES: SPORT CLIMBER OR BOULDERER SUFFERING AFTER GETTING NEAR THE TOP OF THEIR PROJECT AND HEARING THEIR HARDCASE FRIENDS SWITCH INTO INSPIRATIONAL AFFIRMATIVE BLATHER MODE:
  13. Chongo

    Yeah? So? Has part of her climbed Everest? Any cell culture?
  14. Buildering

    My old paper route!
  15. Photo Contest Almosts

    mountaineering scenic photoshopped parc verdun climbing recreational facility of ages east ridge north face Bob Dylan hero worship humor:
  16. the climber's death

    For a typical North American the aim should be to not outlast your financial resources. I have a business plan for providing this service but getting permits is proving difficult. Anyway, you could have your choice of medical malady, physical trauma, or phlegmatically.
  17. the climber's death

    I haven't seen this book, but back in the early 70s Mike Warburton sent me a copy of an essay in the University of Chicago Alumni Magazine called "The Americanization of Rock Climbing" by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. The article began by saying that getting to a summit was no longer the primary goal for many climbers, and they weren't out to smell the flowers, either. Some climbers were said to be obsessively interested in just the act of climbing. As it turns out, Csikszentmihalyi's main example of climbing obsession was Richard Goldstone, then U of C student and climber at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin. I've asked Goldstone about the article and he had some feeling that it didn't portray the facts particularly well. If you want to ask him about it, you might get hold of him on gunks.com. I remember that in the essay the climber, identified as RG, said he would study a rock face intently for half an hour or so and then ooze up it. How many of you have experienced oozing? And did RG really say ooze? Another example of people who experience 'flow' was surgeons. I've worked in an OR and I would say that more often they experience boredom rather than flow, but adapt to it by exercising their sense of humor. In the essay flow was described as a state in which you are no longer separate from the world around you. You are "in the moment" and the moment is all there is and you don't need to think in the conscious sense because things just happen. Sort of like waking up some mornings, until you remember who you are.
  18. the climber's death

    I think I will only worry about honor and embarrassment as long as I'm alive and if I die dishonorably, please have a laugh at my expense. Would I climb if I knew I was going to die doing it? Ivan has an important point: if I could know I was going to die, could I also know when? And could I stop just before the, uh, bad part? I disagree with anyone who compares climbing sastisfactions with stamp-collecting satisfactions. I find that if I get scared on a climb, or, more phlegmatically, experience an apparent risk, I feel good afterwards, sometimes for days. Not just a fuzzy good, either, but acuter thinking and sharper senses. I go with Voytek Kurtyka on this one. Climbing allows you to experience states of mind in which even tragic events seem a necessary and acceptable part of existence. I go with Voytek only partly to impress the Polish co-worker I like. She also read about Jerzy Kukucjka and asked me if I was inspired by him, too, and I told her I was up to the moment he died. I think a short life can be just as good as a long one, though I admire some of the oldies, especially a 103-and-a-half year old at our nursing home. My life is not accomplishment-driven or I might feel differently about longevity. I got all the key things done by age 40. Now I am a parasitic blot on the landscape with no remorse for my selfish and self-destructive behavior. Just kidding, Mom.
  19. John Stoddard's Passing

    Mine, too, but I remember Jon Nelson and I remember meeting John Stoddard at Squamish and his talking about having done Cruel Shoes, a testpiece at the time. I only saw John occasionally at UW rock but he once loaned me or I may have loaned him some wire stoppers that came back with an impressive record of use plain to see on them. Bryan Burdo said that John had amazing pictures from his winter climb of Johannesburg. I do remember John saying that he was able to squeeze his work week into 3 days so he could climb the other 4, but that he had doubts whether the 3 days off climbing was enough time to recover from the 4 days out. There was also a rumor that he and Mark Twight were setting up to parapente off SEWS. The supposedly daredevil Mark thought it looked too risky and the normally cautious John tried it, had trouble, started to plummet but hung up on a tree. Bryan's comment was, "Programmers do it at terminal velocity." Though I had little contact with John I remember his manner quite well. He somehow inspired confidence. Andy Cairns
  20. Out there. glad you made it back okay. appreciate the use of big colorful runners for photography and maybe morale. great photo of 'Mike fully committed' with the peaceful U-valley below. but what the hell were you headed for in that shot?
  21. Falling

    I think the saccular otolith reports on vertical accelerations, usual average resting rate of sensory neurons around 100 spikes/sec, a few thousand fibers per side. I forget what the average sensitivity is but if the sudden unweighting silences them all that's a few hundred thousand missing inputs which is pretty much the first noticeable thing to "go through" my head and yours, too. After that it gets complicated. So bullshit went through your Head? The fall itself can be a wonderful experience. Your chance to be weightless. Nothing but pure sensation should be in your head. Later you can think "outside the box". If yours is still intact. Be happy you don't experience barbecue nystagmus.
  22. Falling

    I think the saccular otolith reports on vertical accelerations, usual average resting rate of sensory neurons around 100 spikes/sec, a few thousand fibers per side. I forget what the average sensitivity is but if the sudden unweighting silences them all that's a few hundred thousand missing inputs which is pretty much the first noticeable thing to "go through" my head and yours, too. After that it gets complicated.
  23. The end of climbing in Yosemite?

    Please don't anyone crap into that convenient crack at the top of the Split Pillar. If you got pasted by an estimated 2500 cubic meters of granite you wouldn't want to have suffered the indignity of the skids being greased by shit. In fact, if indignity is a problem for you, don't go near the Grand Wall.
  24. Mountain Porn Photo Assault

    Thanks for the pictures and the laugh about Western Dihedral, such a neglected climb. On my 3rd attempt the 2nd pitch was finally not too wet but I found out I actually been luckier on the previous 2 tries.
  25. 5 Worst Routes in PNW

    Right Wing is as striking a line as Pipeline, don't know why it isn't climbed more. Well, yes I do. Some climbs I've done had the ambience of long-abandoned junkyards, thinking of the Monte Cristo area in particular, but I love junkyard ambience. As in the Christian aphorism alluded to in Man in the High Castle: stones rejected by the builder, literally! and The Builder! There's just something about junk. I got off trail a few days ago and crashed through the brush and found several rusting car bodies to climb over giving temporary relief from the brush. Car hulks are cool wherever they are, even along the sidestreets of Danbury CT or NYC, but fresh ones are unnerving. The PNW climbs I like least are the THREE? side-by-side nonentities just off the highway up in Cheakamus. Whenever for partner reasons I find myself on those climbs a dark cloud of depression settles in my soul, it takes a superhuman effort to pay attention to what I'm doing, and a groundfall would be ludicrous but strangely welcome. Bring on the loose rock! It is far better than banality.