Thursday, July 2, 2009

Elders of the Wide

Scuffy B, Gary, Jaybro at the Fish Compound (Ed Hartouni photo)

For as significant climbing is to me, I've struggled to find a true community of climbers with whom I could really connect with. It's been a great pleasure getting to know this crew of quirky off-width aficionados. With close to 150 years of collective experience--in and out of the Wide--they're a wealth of knowledge with more than a passing interest in Hendrix, rugby shirts, and swami belts. Climbing with them I always know I can at once thrash myself and laugh till my spleen hurts. When I grow up, I want to be like these guys.

Throbbing Gristle
Scuffy deep in 'Throbbing Gristle' (Russ Walling photo)
Ed Hartouni
Ed Hartouni
The late Brutus of Wyde, RIP (Chief photo)

"They seek those moments when time stands still. The catalysts are as varied as the individuals who pursue this path: a meteor shower; a night sky so star-filled that it snatches your breath; another rise of the sun over distant mountains vast and untouchable; dodging a rock careening crazily down a gully; a desperate icy struggle through whiteout and ground blizzard down to the safety of camp after an unsuccessful summit attempt; standing atop a mountain with a friend, the whole world at your feet, a blinding sun blazing out of a flawless sky, taking the time to watch that sun dip below the horizon even though camp is still many miles and many thousands of feet distant stumbling over boulders and through brush in the darkness; watching the starlight and the storm wrest for possession of the night sky, seated on a narrow ledge beside your rope-mate with only the clothes on your back for shelter, shivering the night away, knowing that, sometime in a distant place you cannot now touch, the world will once again grow bright, the sun will rise, and you will look out on the infant day with new eyes."--Bruce Bindner

Images from Bruce's memorial at the Stonehouse ashram below South Lone Pine Peak can be found here

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