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Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber Paperback – November 30, 1998
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The only criticism I have is that the book ends. I could have kept reading for many more days. If you want to FEEL what it was like, buy this book. I will bet you can't read it only once.
I spent some time in Camp 4 during the summer of 1965 and met many of these wonderful characters. But...as an earlier reviewer pointed out, this was an extremely closed society, and non-California climbers were treated with disdain. Younger "wannabees" were pretty well ostracized, and women? Well, women climbers really didn't know how to climb! Living on next to no money, sleeping under a rock, hiding from the rangers, confronting bears, scarfing food in the cafeteria and coffee shop, stealing tips from the restaurant tables were all "normal" for many of these gifted lunatics. Many of them were my friends, and a good number of them haven't survived to present day and I miss them. Pratt, Fredericks, Sacherer, Roper, and numerous others; they were certainly unique individuals.
This was a heart rending book for me--reminding me of days gone by and the experiences I had in Yosemite.
The Golden Age of the '60s, of which Steve was a part, was a time of great improvements in equipment and methods, and also a first crack at some of the awesome spires that were heretofore thought "impossible." It was wild, giddy and reckless, adjectives I would never apply to Steve Roper. Mr. Roper is austere in his beliefs of the "purity" of the climb and who is worthy. Though he recounts a few wild escapades, I had the feeling he did not approve. His callousness toward the first Camp 4 fatality made me back up and reread. Yep, I read it right, though I'm sure he was trying to keep up the "Right Stuff" façade in the face of what must have been a great shock to an 18-year old boy. That is the problem; there are so few that Roper considers to have the Right Stuff. If they were women, they were mere appendages. If male and had the misfortune to be born after 1955, they were not pure enough.
John Long's "Rock Jocks, Wall Rats and Hang Dogs" is devoted to Camp 4 in the '70s. John is Steve's polar opposite except in their mutual love for and expertise in rock climbing. John is wildly funny and sometimes just wild, but I had more a feeling of place when reading his book.
As another reviewer said, "Camp 4" is a must-have for West Coast rock enthusiasts. It is considered the Bible of the Golden Age.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book in great condition, much better than expected.Published 20 months ago by Mathieu Fresco
Great read. I spent the summer of 1967 in Camp 4 and this book brought back many memoriesPublished 21 months ago by William Cochrane
Really enjoyed all the characters and the history of Yosemite, and learned much about the climbing community in the early days.Published 22 months ago by james hardin
Fantastic Book. If you are a mountain history buff, a California climber, or just love a good read about something delightfully random, this is a must read.Published on July 22, 2014 by dan moses
Excellent book! Dificult to stop reading.
Yosemite is a great place discovered by brave people! Read more
i really enjoyed this book with early history of the Camp 4 Yosemite climbers. The author is a cousin and he tells a very good factual story in black and white.Published on April 17, 2014 by Nancy Drew
Loved the content, style of writing and being whisked through a century of big wall pioneers in the valley. Recommended.Published on April 16, 2014 by Mark Curphey
Nice historical look at the subject. Any climber would enjoy this and surely anyone going to the area will really like itPublished on February 13, 2013 by K. Reid