CLOSER TO FINE
Some Climbing Photo's from the 70's
Tom and Lake Serene- Cascade Range
These photos were taken on climbs I made in the 1970's, each of which was successful, though many others were not. All occurred in Washington State and none was really dangerous. All are climbable still- in good weather by an average person in good physical condition, proper training, and of course... the right mental attitude.
My 35 mm camera was heavy and easily damaged on climbs, so I took few photos. I was even less likely to be found in front of a camera. Some of these slides were "lost" and have turned up only recently- a few being found in the oddest places and after nearly 30 years nearly forgotten, though once recovered, the memories came rushing back, filling in the mental blanks until the climb seemed like only a year ago. Photographs from other climbs are missing still- leaving me only with slowly fading memories.
Mountaineering was an important part of my life back then, so much more than just "sport". Through climbing I discovered something of myself, my weaknesses, strengths, and the importance of companions on an arduous quest. I learned firsthand that nature was uncaring, much larger than I was... and could be dangerous; particularly so to the clumsy, the unprepared, the overconfident and to those lacking situational awareness. In the world of high angle rock and snow, every action or inaction had consequences.
After a time, I came to the realization and to the great secret of mountaineering- that it's not the the mountains that we conquer. What we really defeat is our weaker selves.
Photographs of course, can't even begin to convey the wonder, exhilaration and sheer delight of surveying the world from a lofty summit after having mastered both fatigue and fear; especially the indescribable, ephemeral feeling of invincibility that cannot be purchased at any price- but must be earned.
Climbing, when performed with courage, skill and grace... is poetry for the soul.
-CLW, March 2004
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to Fine
.(Lyrics from the Indigo Girls: "Closer to Fine"
Click on a photo for a larger version
Charley Green and Tom- Cascade Lake 1973
Brothers Bob, Tom, John & Charley Green
lower and upper Lena lake and Mt. Bretherton, Olympic Range, 1972
Me on the Summit of Bandera peak (easy) - Cascade Range. Tom's photo.
Climbing Course Certificate 1974
PINNACLE PEAK (Tatoosh Range)
2- Bob and others
3- Jim & Bob at the "Gap"
1-UNICORN PEAK (Tatoosh Range)
2-Tom and Bob on steep snowfield (Jim's photo)
3- I'm on the perched on the spire just North of the summit.
1- MT. ADAMS (12,276 ft.)
2- Bob climbing, Jim below
3- Bob at about 8500 ft.
4- High Camp on the "Lunch Counter" at 9000 ft. Mt St. Helens in the distance
5- The shadow of Mt Adams cast Westward by the morning sun.
6- Me, with brothers- Jim, Tom, John, Jim D. and Bob on the summit. (Charley Green took Photo)
1- MT BAKER (10,778 ft.)
2- Ladies Restroom (made from snow blocks) on the Coleman Glacier (our high camp)
3- Afternoon cloud cap
4-Summit slog. Route goes to the right of the Roman Wall
5-Windy Summit- made it hard to stand at times
I climbed Mt. Baker in 1974 with brother Bob and the Tacoma Mountaineers as part of
their Basic Climbing Course. While on the summit a cloud cap descended right on top of us,
so there were no views.
1- CATHEDRAL ROCK, Central Cascades, July 1973
2- Tom approaching base
3- Looking down on me and "Peggy's pond"
4- Tom's lead on the final pitch, and
3- Me on top
MT. ST . HELENS (9677 ft. when climbed, before the eruption).
1-Jim climbing in a strong wind (my photo)
2- Me (nearest) and Tom on rope above the "Dog's Head" (Jim's photo)
3- Jim D. on top (my photo)
Learning to climb Ice with Bob (Jim's photo)
THE TOOTH, Central Cascades
1- Looking up towards Pineapple Pass. Route is left hand skyline.
2- Lots of gear 3-First pitch 4- Second pitch, 5- "Catwalk Traverse"
6- Looking down on the Catwalk. 7- Me on top as weather closes in.
I made this climb with the Tacoma Mountaineers in 1974 as part of their Basic Climbing
Course. I won't forget waiting my turn at the "Catwalk"- there were no handholds! The route
was mostly free of snow, though there was lots elsewhere. We were slow getting off the face
and a rappel rope that we needed got hung up- a member of our party had to climb back up
the pitch and retrieve it! (Always bring an extra rope.) We stumbled back to the cars in
near darkness. I returned the following year with my brothers and Jim, and climbed it again.
Jim- finding a route- somewhere in the Cascades.
Having a bad day. Brothers Bob, Jim and Tom.
1-MT WASHINGTON- Olympic Range- Me, Jim, Tom, Bob
2- Me on higher slopes
3- Snowfield midway up and below the ridge.
5- Summit view with climbers on Washington's "nose" and Hood Canal to right.
LITTLE TAHOMA- 11,138 ft. With Jim and the Tacoma Mountaineers 1975
1- From our "Sunrise Campground" base camp. 2- From the Fryingpan glacier
3- On the summit 4-Summit view.
1- ENCHANTMENT LAKES high camp: Tom and Jim & Me on these climbs, Jim's photo's.
Lake Freya, DRAGONTAIL PEAK and The WITCH'S TOWER.
2- On Dragontail ridge
3- Summit of Witch's Tower, and
4- Dragontail Summit with Tom.
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