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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

A great person leaves the world
2:33:32 PM

3:15:41 PM
Thanks Hero.

It's interesting how many prominent environmentalists have been climbers.

Dave Brouwer, who founded Friends of the Earth, was also a keen climber. I think he did the FA of Devil's Tower.

9:36:35 PM
On 15/01/2009 billk wrote:

>Dave Brouwer, who founded Friends of the Earth, was also a keen climber.
>I think he did the FA of Devil's Tower.

He did the first ascent of Shiprock, in 1939. It was the "last great problem" in American climbing at the time.

Perhaps ironically, he also placed the first bolt in American rock, during the same climb.

And I agree that Arne Naess was a very cool person.
10:12:14 AM
I agree with you Billk. George Sessions was a Valley climber, I think Thomas Nagel was a climber. But there is a stroger link in general to philosophy. Nietzsche was a climber of sorts, Jeremy Bentham, another great Norwegian Peter Wessel Zapffe,

And just in Australia, people I have climbed with such as Mark Colyvan, Ian Ravenscroft, and Tim Van Gelder have all become philosophers. One of my mentors was UNE philosopher Brian Birchall. Bill Ramsey, an American party boy who climbed here in the 80s is a philosopher at San Diego.

Interesting to think why this is the case.

10:15:25 AM
why is thinking interesting?

10:16:30 AM
The American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and environmental philosopher Gary Snyder was also a climber.
12:25:14 PM
If you don't know the answer to that WWAS, I doubt I can explain it to you.
12:43:02 PM
I'm a bit thick Hero and I agree I doubt you're smart enough to explain it to me.

8:52:57 PM
Mountains were at the centre of his vision and he often asked audiences to practise the Taoist injuction to "listen with the third ear" and "think like a mountain".

This is a bit deep for me.
Is he saying listen to your heart/conscience for the long term?

11:26:49 PM
David Lee Roth is a climber...actually more into aid which I suppose explains a lot of things.

"just like living in paradise"
7:36:15 PM
Another great of Australian climbing has recently died. Brian Birchall, an important figure in late 70s early 80s Armidale climbing died after a long illness.

Brian (His nickname was Bobdog) was one of the great raconteurs of Australian climbing and participated in the development of Kaputar and Armidale climbing.

He was incredibly influentual on myself, leading to my interest in publishing, literature and philosophy.

Below, by way of an obiturary, is a piece I wrote a few years ago.


gangly toothed old man
leered at me, this oh so young boy
this old man, drunk
cigarette stained voice
booming throughout the bistro
making me feel young,
immature, inexperienced, scared

who was this wizened dwarf
with the giant mind, appetites
and some youth's piercing eyes
he ruled the roost, staggerin' drunk
ceaselessly booming as he rounded
the sea-green table
the green that only drowned sailors see
and here he was, tar with beer

i was come, with J. and later M.
to learn, to learn,
no, not university book guff
but life, and death
and that peculiar death that is climbing
i forgot my books, my lectures
my recently dissected rat viscera
to come pilgrim like
to sit at his feet and learn
to share a tale in the bistro

a guru of philosophy, of wine
of cigarettes and tequila
and other drugs
his mind made me feel inadequate
his feeble body danced up planes
making mine a lump of ineptness
his courage made me fall asleep with fear

yet from all the fear, the beer,
the pub tables running with descriptions
the renditions of great pretender
the art of glassing someone
(his bodgie past in Newcastle)
the endless snowjobbing with his learned talk
we learnt, we learnt
we all learnt to glide, to climb
to take it all a little less seriously
to think

it was not as if he taught us to think
no, no, he only taught us to climb
but his stained hands, spotted skin
his testicular voice, his argument
yes, that's it, his argument
it gave us the desire to learn to think

and i, i no longer feel so young
i learnt my lessons from the old man
and went off to climb, to write
and when I'm not drunk
to think

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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