You _have_ to watch this!!!

  • OK, OK, I watched it, without first noting when it was produced. Since I have recently been reading the exploits of Bob & Miriam Underhill, who did most of their "cutting-edge" climbs in the late 1920's & early 30's, I thought the hemp ropes, lack of leader protection, & unanchored shoulder belays dated to the 1930's.

    However, my clothing era expert Heidi, said the fellows with the suits, & also the movie camera, dated to the 1950's. I finally noted the 1954 production date. How things have changed!

  • Yeah, I'd say the 1950s. Post war for sure looking at the gear and cinematography. That is classic. TFPU!

  • And some of you are only two degrees of separation removed from it.

    If you spent any time on Supertopo, you will probably remember Bruce Kay. A BC climber who posted a lot of good stuff about climbing, and was a voice of reason on the political threads.

    Listen to the voiceover on the film and you will hear that one of the climbers is Ian Kay. Yes, the father of my friend, and your ST acquaintance Bruce Kay.

    Ian did a lot of first and early ascents of mountains in this part of the world, and was still a keen follower of climbing even once he'd hung up his rope for the last time. I did not know him personally, but was fortunate to correspond with him a bit when I was editor of The Canadian Alpine Journal, and also snagged the second ascent of one of his routes in the Chehalis Group in southwestern BC.

  • The film shows American climbing as it was in the 1950s. This was the world I entered in 1953, a year before the film's publication. College and other outdoor clubs with both men and women active participants, the campfires, the natural fiber or early nylon ropes (Army surplus), steel pitons and karabiners, the boots or sneakers, the shoulder belays, Army surplus clothing - much from WWII, and the general environment of amateurism at its enjoyable best.

    When Royal and his cohorts began pushing technical standards a few years later, the growing athletic and risk components resulted in fewer female participants. But the sport today looks quite different. Forty years ago Pat Ament and I used to joke about rock climbing becoming women's gymnastics. From what I see on the media, we may not have been terribly wrong. 😎

  • @jgill said in You _have_ to watch this!!!:

    The film shows American climbing as it was in the 1950s.

    Well, it actually shows Canadian climbing, but I'm sure the Americans soon caught up.

    We're thinking of showing it to the kids in our local gym. None of whom has ever climbed outdoors, and only a few of whom have ever put on a harness and tried something on the toprope wall. All they do is boulder...

    ...well, if you can call leaping around on plywood walls with bolt-on plastic blobs above a monstrously thick floor mat bouldering.

    I wonder what they'd make of it?

    And, fwiw, your thought about climbing becoming women's gymnastics was only wrong in its assignation of age. The reality is little girls' gymnastics!

  • Finally had a chance to watch this. Wonderful! that young fellow John looked excellent on the overhanging problem. He was not as smooth on the arête but he certainly got it done with a bold lead. I wonder if any of you know anything more about the young leader with the buckskin jacket and one piton in his combat pants.

  • @David-Harris said in You _have_ to watch this!!!:

    All they do is boulder...

    A tragedy for sure . . . 😎

  • @jgill Their bouldering bears as much relation to yours as golf does to anything real.

    Seriously. Talk to them about climbing outside and the response is "There are gyms outside?"

    Okay, maybe not quite that unknowing, but their view of climbing is that some old people used to clamber up rocks somewhere, but real climbing is what is in the latest Kim Jain video on Youtube. (No shade cast on Ms Kim, who is an incredible athlete, but still...)

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