Most of the time I don't have much to say. I'm the great listener. I can say however that I do have a great deal of experience. I've been climbing since I was a teenager. But I never kept a journal. That makes it harder -
with each passing year - to recall details from all the time I've spent out here. Years ago I climbed alot with Mark Whiton. He kept a journal. We only did one climb in the Sierra - the Harding Route on Conness. I think he kept
a journal of every climb he ever did. I wonder if he still is ... climbing? And writing about it?
I was first introduced to the High Sierra while my older brother was doing time in the Air Force. We'd always done lots of hiking together and so when he got some time off we decided another adventure was just the ticket. In late '72 we'd done Guadalupe Peak (Texas) and in June of '74 the Keyhole on Long's Peak. In May of 1975 we had Whitney to ourselves. Can you believe it? That summer lots of bad weather in the Bugaboos kept us cooped up in the hut more than a few days. Lucky for us we meet a group of Californians who pointed us south with the suggestion that we go do the Mendal Couloir. That adventure lite the fuse. The so called early years were all about climbing. Roper's Sierra Club guide was our bible. There was no other beta to be had.
I used to have alot more slides than I do now. I don't know how I lost so many of my High Sierra images, but it happened. Perhaps a metaphor of life. From 1975-1996 I climbed out here with a number friends I don't see anymore. Since my return to the Sierra in 2009 I've taken a boat load of digital images and climbed or hiked with five people. Mostly I travel out here on my own. My tribe has gotten very small. That may be due in part to the fact that I don't know many people my age (66) who still subscribe to the theory that you 'earn your turns'.
One of my recurring fantasies is to live on the east side and spend all my free time exploring this amazing range of mountains. That may happen, who knows. Right now I live at the foot of NH's White Mts, but I find my thoughts always drifting west to the Eastside. I came back to the Sierra late after spending many years climbing and travelling elsewhere: B.C., Wyoming, Montana and Pakistan (to name a few). I don't regret the choices I've made, I just wish I'd come to realize sooner how much I have missed the Sierra.