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Who is the most famous climber you have ever met? What circumstances?
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Sep 30, 2009
Several years ago, I was sitting atop Stichter Quits in J-Tree with my friend Sally as she brought up my wife Susan. As we sat there, a craggy old guy popped up as he finished a nearby route. I elbowed Sally, and asked her if she knew who it was. “That’s Jim Bridwell,” I told her. He was there with a couple of clients.

Jim and his party set up their rap as we finished our climb. As we approached the rap station, Sally asked me “Is it okay if we use your rope to rap?” Thinking that Sally was talking to him, Jim replied “Sure”.

Sally often tells how she got to rap on Jim Bridwell’s rope, but I always chime in that not only did I get to rap on it; I got to coil Jim Bridwell’s rope.

What was really great about that encounter was that our friend Mick, who was battling cancer, was unable to make the trip with us. Sally ran back to her car and got a card she had for Mick, and got Jim to sign it for him. I think Mick really appreciated that gesture, and it brought home to me how truly down-to-earth a lot of our climbing heroes are.
Jeff Hatfield
From Tempe, AZ
Joined Jul 7, 2008
0 points
Oct 2, 2009
One of a few: Bobbi Bensman after her boob job. I fondly called her Boobi Bensman after that and there isn't a shred of disrespect in her nickname. I can't believe I was the only climber who recognized her at this climbing-shoe workshop. She so rocks! lisa c
Joined Mar 26, 2009
0 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Camp 4
Met Ammon Mcneely after climbing on Manure Pile Buttress in the valley. I was the first one down off the route and raced back to the car for some water because I was ravenously thirsty. Sat down on a bench and smoked a cig, looked over and there is the man himself with a few buddies next to an old van. I walked over and introduced myself and shook hands. Real cool guy, not a bit of arrogance or elitist attitude whatsoever. Bullshitted until the other guys got back down and then bailed out for a night of boozing rakkasan
From clarksville, tn
Joined Mar 31, 2010
15 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: El Chorro
A few years ago Heidi Wirtz came to the island I live on to relax... probably wasn't planning on climbing at all. She was with her mom, etc.

A friend of mine named Shamick, who comes here to rebolt every year, is apparently friends with Heidi. He was all like "my friend Heidi is coming, leave her alone, don't ask her for her autograph or anything stupid." I was like "dude, I don't even know who this person is so don't worry about it."

Well, Shamick convinced her to go out climbing with us one day. I could tell they just wanted to chill but they came with us anyways.

Anyways, Heidi and her b/f backed off of a route they were trying because of noticeably rusty bolts, just above a sharp coral reef. A broken bolt would have been ugly.

So this climb is one that I've wanted to do for a while. I get on it after them, not to show them up or anything, but just to do it. I one hang it (not a hard route but I was happy to do it). Then on the boat on the way back I'm all like "the grades here are soft anyways, you should have done it." Heidi says "yea, it's just not that important to me, tender finger, bad bolts, etc." I reply with some stupid shit like "come on you're in Thailand just climb and have fun, bla bla bla."

I don't remember exactly what I said... I just remember finding out who she was a few days later, and how strong of a climber she is, and feeling really stupid. It became pretty obvious why it wasn't important to her!

Anyways I'm not sure she cared at all what I said and probably doesn't even remember me but I still felt like a douche.

Other than that, I've met a lot of "famous" climbers but just randomly. Probably the one that had the most influence was Micah Dash. Just such an out going guy, loved to involve everyone in the conversation, make sure everyone was having fun and not getting too serious about whatever they were doing (and this was at the Red, where A LOT of people seem to get too serious).

Hope you're still climbing up there somewhere!
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: "Ragin Cajun" 5.12c Jackson Falls, So Il...
Had the honor to climb with Bob Kamps when he stopped by our area, we did several routes together. He got the second accent of a route of mine. Met Warren Harding in Estes giving a slide show, Todd Skinner stopped by our area as well. jhn payne
Joined Oct 27, 2009
54 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: My kinda simian
I met Jack Marshal at a Donkey Show in Tijuana. Ryan Kelly
From work.
Joined Oct 10, 2006
3,262 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: sloping
I met Lynn Hill at the spot in boulder. She showed me how much of a badass climber she is, and how much of a candyass I am. It was awesome. koreo
From Denver, CO
Joined Aug 24, 2009
90 points
Jun 5, 2010
Shared belay ledges with Chuck Pratt on Devil's Tower. Fred Beckey in Joshua Tree. He asked me for directions. Godfried
Joined Mar 11, 2010
45 points
Jun 5, 2010
Kurt Smith came to our gym for a slide show and was drinking Michelob Ultra at the after party. James, our local smart ass asked "Why the hell are you drinking Michelob Ultra?!?!?". Kurt replied "To keep my weight down" to which James shot back "Michelob Ultra! It's what beer drinkers drink when they're not drinking beer!" Kurt was not amused.

Sharma, signing posters in Boulder. I told him he should come to Devils Lake to try the hard bouldering (half joking) to which he replied; "Whoa, cool man. Sounds sweet!". He never showed up :(

Michael Reardon in Boulder in a bar, I was too intoxicated to remember what the hell I said to him.

FAMOUS Winsonsinite (TM) Jay Knower! At DL, slept on his couch in NH, AND we both spent some time in the same internet bitch-fests ;)
Joined Apr 17, 2004
12,616 points
Jun 5, 2010
I've met Russ Walling too. And, clearly, this gives me an advantage over other people. steve edwards
From SLC, UT
Joined May 3, 2004
875 points
Jun 5, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Cory
I ran into Steve House at Smith Rock. He actually apologized to me as I walked by for having some of his gear scattered on the trail! He definitely didn't come off as another cocky sponsored athlete, even though he's a rock star here in Oregon. He seemed pretty chill. Cory Sipher
From Roseburg, OR
Joined Jun 11, 2006
10 points
Jun 5, 2010
I was in Boulder in October, hanging out with a college buddy I hadn't seen in 8 years. We were hitting the usual pearl street haunts and after a few, my friend starts telling people I was a pro climber. It was kind of funny and kind of embarrassing, but the most interesting part was that the girls didn't give a shit, and the guys thought I was super hott!! caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Joined Nov 21, 2006
1,928 points
Jun 6, 2010
I've been fortunate enough to meet my share of the more well known among us, but probably one of the best moments was when I was lucky enough to spend a day climbing with Allen Steck a couple years back- he brought a friend and his grandson out to las vegas and Larry D and I took them up Lady Luck on a lazy day.

Very inspirational- Steck cruised the route despite his age catching up with him, and, when i had set up a short rope to lower him and his grandson past a short 5th class step, he grabbed the rope out of my hand, and dulfer'd down the step then continued on his way.
John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
2,461 points
Jun 6, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Old Greg with his downstairs mix-up.
Tom Hanson. He was cranking hard and solo on the juggy handle of a coffee pot on the west face of the break room at Agilent Technologies. He's taught me a lot since then - about coffee and climbing and spinning yarns. Yarns as imaginative as a Dali painting. Good thing he doesn't fish!
Rock Climbing Photo: He made us wear these masks. It was horrible!
He made us wear these masks. It was horrible!
From Centennial, CO
Joined Aug 1, 2006
86 points
Jun 6, 2010
money order is in the mail Umph!
Joined Nov 8, 2004
277 points
Jun 6, 2010
I've climbed with caughtinside, who is a legend in his own mind. Snupe
From SoCak
Joined Jun 6, 2010
26 points
Jun 6, 2010
Ryan Kelly wrote:
I met Jack Marshall at a Donkey Show in Tijuana.

Was he in the audience or involved in the show?
From SoCak
Joined Jun 6, 2010
26 points
Jun 6, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: A couple days before, getting religion on Grizzly ...
I had this smart-mouthed (but rather funny) Aussie in the back of the WFR class I taught in Moab a couple of years ago...he handed in his exam and it said Greg Child on the top of, I was not worthy. Ben Woods
Joined Feb 4, 2010
23 points
Jun 7, 2010
One cool thing about climbing is that you have the chance to rub elbows with the worlds best climbers and it is like no big deal. We all have the access to the same rock/ice. not like if you played baseball you could walk onto Wrigley's field and hit some balls.
my 2cents

Royal Robbins climbs at the same gym as me. Way cool. nice guy.

tommy & beth in the valley @the Ritz parking lot

and way more than i can remember @the 50 year anniversary of the first assent of the nose
Joined Apr 28, 2010
8 points
Jun 7, 2010
Ryan Kelly wrote:
I met Jack Marshal at a Donkey Show in Tijuana.

Yore mom's not that pretty, but I never would have called her a donkey. sides... I have to do something on my rest days.
Joined Dec 27, 2006
1,754 points
Jun 7, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
The hilarious thing about so-called famous climbers is that you can only drop their names around...other climbers. The general public will shoot you a look like the RCA Victor dog listening to his master's voice.

I hope that dog reference wasn't lost on some of you younguns.
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,669 points
Jun 7, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Old Greg with his downstairs mix-up.
Someone lost a dog? Stucker
From Centennial, CO
Joined Aug 1, 2006
86 points
Jun 7, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Up on Rat Stew.
I ran into Joey Kinder and Jason Kehl at the spot, but I had called Joey up and planned on meeting him there anyway, so that wasn't really a surprise. I called him up when I was in town and he tells me "we're all at the Spot, come on down," but I didn't know we included Jason and a bunch of other guys. He's a nice guy but he continually gives me shit for not being able to climb more than 4 spot when I was there. right after he walked away, I immediately started climbing harder. Its funny that a pro climber can throw you all out of whack when he's on of your heros. Spent some good time climbing with him though Mark Kauz
From Madison, WI
Joined May 11, 2009
80 points
Jun 7, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Axes glistening in the sun
I met Harvey Carter at Indepenance Pass a few years back while climbing one of his routes. Had a great conversation, in which he told me when he first led the climb he hammered in one piton and that chalk was aid! Told me I could train myself not to sweat so much. LOL!! Course if I had fingers and hands the size of his I probably could have place one piece to!!!!! Spoke to him for a good hour. "H"
From Manitou Springs
Joined Feb 13, 2006
114 points
Jun 7, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Darren sticking the second crux move Photo credit:...
Beth Bennett peed on the base of my route on Saturday. thanks. Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Dec 12, 2002
4,092 points

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