Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
You guys have inspired me!! This may sound like another acid dream but it is all true!
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Free Spirited Climber
Apr 29, 2010
I have been rock climbing on and off for over 20 years. I first learned from two amazing human beings, Daryl Miller and Craig Luebben. (Be sure to click the links if you want to know a bit more about these guys) Daryl ran the Experiential Learning Program (ELP) at Colorado State University when I was there from 1986-1988. Craig was finishing his Master's degree in engineering and worked at the ELP program. He had invented an ingenious device to protect rock climbers when they are out on what is considered the most difficult type of climbing. They are called off-widths and climbing them was Craig's favorite. His invention was called the Big Bro and it was one cool device. Even if you aren't a rock climber and you picked this item up you would be fascinated by what it is.

Craig was the hardcore climber guy at ELP. He was always doing something interesting. I remember when he was developing a new rock climbing area around the Poudre River. I was fascinated by this guy. Soft spoken, humble and full of life. He was also the guy who taught all of the beginning rock climbing classes for the ELP. When I found this out I was determined to get in on one of those classes. Ever hear that saying when you least expect it expect it? It was a Saturday morning and I was just waking up from a hard night at the college bars and trying to shake the cobwebs off. The phone rings and it is Craig. He says, "I need ya. This local reporter wants to do a story about me and rock climbing. So I need you to be a beginning student for me." I asked when. He said he would pick me up in 5 minutes. That took care of the cobwebs. I was out of bed and out the door in 3 minutes and impatiently waiting for him at the front of my dorm.

The whole day is a blur really, because everything I did that day was so infinitely interesting to me that I could barely focus. He took me and a few others including the reporter to what I later learned was a very famous rock climbing area called Horsetooth Reservoir. He showed us the basics of the sport. How to move, how to tie a knot, how to appreciate the beauty of the environment and how to be respectful to future and past climbers. (Great shot of a climber at Horsetooth)

What a glorious day and how could I have known then what significance that day would hold for me for the rest of my life? Once I had learned the basics I was ready to spend some time with Daryl. Daryl was the boss at the ELP but don't let him catch you calling him boss. He was not too hung up on titles. What he was hung up on was climbing, adventure, young girls and most importantly fun. Daryl was a master in the art of having fun. He could laugh at himself, you or just about anything else. This guy was always laughing and it was infectious. I hate to use an old cliche' but anybody who knows this guy would have to agree that there was never a dull moment around Daryl.

Daryl also liked to teach beginners and his favorite place to take them was the Third Flatiron in Boulder. After my outing with Craig I was determined to weasel my way onto one of Daryl's trips down to the Third Flatiron. I had heard that these trips were a lot of fun and that Daryl was way over the top but I had no idea what I was in store for. (Climbers shot from the top) I have no recollection of how I wound up on the trip but it was myself Daryl and 3 other students. The plan was for the 5 of us to climb up the 800 foot face of the Third. I was the only one with experience because I had all of one day with Craig. For the rest of them it was the first day. Daryl told me in private with a laugh and a wink he was counting on me to help out because I had knew what I was doing. What made him think I was going to be of any help was beyond me.

We pile in two cars and speed down to Boulder's Chautauqua Park. I was not in the car with Daryl so we could talk freely about all of the stories we had heard about him but did not know him well enough to ask, he was a Vietnam Vet, a Rodeo Clown, he used to keep an alligator in his bathtub and a pet baboon of his used to sit on his couch and watch TV while eating Oreo cookies. All true we would later find out and more.

As we approach the parking area we can all see the Flatirons looming and I know my stomach was churning.......TO BE CONTINUED (very soon) I am falling asleep and need to get some rest. Be sure to click the links in the story!! LINKS: Daryl Craig craigluebben.com/about/ BigBro Horsetoothlandscapeimagery.com/Horsetoot... Climber over the Resevoir Climbers topped out on the third The third from chautauqua

FLAG
By Free Spirited Climber
Apr 29, 2010
I added a few of the links on the bottom. The important ones. The obviousness of editing in the Mountain Project text editor escapes me. lol I am not sure who the target audience is. I just wanted to write about these two guys. Two icons to me! I am have been mostly a lurker here on MP because I don't like to get too much involved in things. The dream and the story of my climbing past seems to want to get told so I figured I would tell you guys first

FLAG
By Rodney Ley
May 2, 2010
Hi All:
No doubt about it, Craig and Daryl, in their own unique ways, are icons of climbing and mountaineering. I'm looking forward to more posts from FreeSpiritedClimber. Tell us more!

FLAG
By Free Spirited Climber
May 2, 2010
Rodney,
I remember you from CSU. How about you beat me to the punch and tell us your best Daryl and/or Craig story. The next installment I hope will be better than the last two. I just need to get some time to spit it all out. A tentative title is the Zen, the Tao and the Yoga of climbing.


FLAG
By Merlin
From Grand Junction
May 2, 2010
Please continue, I enjoyed the story.

FLAG
By Free Spirited Climber
May 3, 2010
Here is Part Two in case you haven't seen it

We start the 2.5 mile hike or so with excited anticipation and Daryl is chattering away about who knows what. After a while we (the students) notice that Daryl has disappeared. No big deal, he is pretty fit and he knows the way so we speculate that he will just meet us at the base of the route. As we approach the base still no Daryl. Where could he have gone? No idea? We call out...no answer. We hike a but further and all of a sudden Daryl jumps out from behind a bush whooping and a whumping and scares the shit out of all of us. He immediately falls over laughing like he was possessed by the devil himself. It doesn't take us long to catch on and we are all enjoying the exquisite moment laughing together.

The next bit is a blur just like the first day with Craig. The Third Flatiron is 600-800 feet high and the climbing is easy. If your Grandmother is reasonably fit she could get up it on her first day out. It is the perfect beginners multi-pitch. The blur clears up at the top when it's time to do the short rappel to the ground. If I remember correctly it was windy, the rappel is overhanging/freehanging and I to this day am never happy about rappelling.

That is a brief introduction of what my experience with climbing has been. I wanted to capture the beginning because it was such a special and exciting time. I was 18 or 19 years old and I was being exposed to things that were incredibly mysterious and hanging out with people with really colorful past experience. I always kick myself when I realize that I missed some incredible opportunities while at Colorado State University. I took advantage of many but I also missed a bunch. Daryl used to have this friend who used to show up from time to time. He had all these slides of the adventures he had been on. He used to stay with Daryl when he was in town and they used to drink it up. After they got good and drunk Daryl's friend would bust out his slides and tell crazy adventure stories. All stuff that he had experienced first hand. After the slide show was over anybody who was sober enough to walk would pile into Daryl's car or his girlfriend's micro-bus and they would drive down to Boulder and solo the Third Flatiron. They especially loved doing it by the light of the full moon. The tragedy of it all for me was that I never got in on any of these trips nor did I ever get to see the slide show. I was always doing something else. All the information I got was second hand from friends who had participated in these adventures. Anybody got any idea who this guy was? If not then I'll tell you. It was none other then the famous iconoclast climber Warren Harding. Batso

FLAG
By Free Spirited Climber
May 3, 2010
Just an aside about Craig Luebben

Funny thing about Craig Luebben-we hung out a bit at CSU and did more climbing together but not much. We also facilitated groups together through the ELP's ropes course. He was so good at that. It was like learning from a true master how to be a facilitator. After that we lost touch. I did reconnect with him a few years back when he was teaching the AMGA guides course here at Red Rock. I told him he can stay at my house for the course. I live 6 miles from the gate. I had to convince him because he preferred to dirt bag it with the guys at the campsite which I dont blame him for. Much more fun to hang with the fellas. So he stayed for the duration of the course and he came and went as he pleased and he was so busy we never really got a chance to sit down and talk. Oh how I regret that now!

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.