Old Photos

Richard climbing in Yosemite

Richard Climbing in Yosemite

Mid-1970′s, Yosemite Valley, California. This picture was taken by my then girlfriend and climbing partner Faye Nakamura. I’m not sure which climb we were on but it’s not a wall since I don’t have a haul line or aiders. I’m guessing its the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral Rock, one of our favorite all day climbs in the Valley back then.

You’ll notice a few “Friends” (expandable protection) on my rack on the right. These were original pieces made by and bought from Ray Jardine who invented them long before expandable protection became popular and generic.

Most of the photographs we took on climbs in those days were slides and I have yet to scan my extensive and unfortunately deteriorating slide collection. I hope to get to it before it fades away.

Yes, I was a serious climber for about ten years and climbed quite a bit in Yosemite Valley including some walls. These days my knees knock cleaning my gutters on an extension ladder and hiking is what I do for adventure. I’m glad I experienced the climbing scene when I did; I never got into the indoor climbing gym scene, competiions, or speed climbing with and without equipment. I was what modern climbers call a “trad” (traditional).

For those of you interested in climbing (and entertaining stories), you might enjoy this (true) story I wrote a while back: A Climbing Story.

Black bear on car in Yosemite

Black bear on car

July, 1969, Yosemite Park, California. I took this out our car window against my father’s advice. We went to Yosemite as a family each year until I went away to college; my parents continued to go for many years after. Those were amazing years in Yosemite and we even experienced the famous Yosemite Firefall where park rangers got a pile of logs burning on top of Glacier Point and pushed the embers over the 3000′ cliff to the delight of the tourists below (well, not directly below).

Yes, we went to Ansel Adams’ slide lectures and met him numerous times at his gallery in the Valley.

Those were the days. A few years later I was back in Yosemite as a climber. Those were even better days.

Smith Rocks Climbing, 1978

Heading toward Asterisk Pass, 1978

Smith Rocks, Oregon. Pete Pollard (front) and me walking along the Crooked River at Smith Rocks toward Asterisk Pass. We went over the pass and hiked back north on the other side to the base of Monkey Face where we climbed a nice route called West Face Variation on Monkey Face.

This picture was taken by Faye Nakamura who did the climb with us.

Yes… in another life I was a semi-serious climber.

Leading the first pitch of West Face Variation, 1978

That’s me leading the first pitch on West Face Variation on Monkey Face. This was a warm-up route for something else we did that weekend but I can’t remember what it was. Pete Pollard was belaying me while Faye Nakamura took the picture.

The three of us swapped leads on this and if memory serves I got the scary lead out of the monkey’s mouth. The free rappel off the top is "memorable" if memory serves.