My Last Rock Climb

The Frightful Variation of the Trough, Tahquitz Rock, Idllywild, California

The Frightful Variation of the Trough, Tahquitz Rock, Idllywild, California. Can you spot the climber?

The Call to the Sheriff

Saturday midnight, summer 1979, Dolores called the Riverside Sheriff substation servicing Idyllwild, California and reported her husband, Jerrold Foutz, and son, David Foutz, missing. They left San Diego early Saturday morning for a technical rock climb of Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild and were expected home for dinner. It was supposed to be an easy climb, The Trough. Both were experienced climbers. Dolores gave a description of the climbers, Jerrold 47 years old, David 16 years old, and the license number and description of their car, a 1973 green Renault LeCar.

The dispatcher said they would send a deputy to check the parking lot used by the climbers and call back with what they found.

About an hour later the deputy called back and said they found the car in the parking lot but no sign of the climbers. There was no need to call search and rescue before daylight because there was little they could do in the dark. He would keep checking the parking lot and let her know if they showed up. Continue reading

A Recorder in the Wilderness

My friends in the Sierra Club could have warned me. But they wanted the satisfaction of hearing the reaction of an innocent to the culture of the Hundred Peaks Section of the of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.

It was early in the 1960’s and I was was working as a Research Engineer at the Autonetics Division of North American Aviation. I had joined the Orange County Chapter of the Sierra Club and had gone on several day hikes, but this was to be my first overnight backpack with the Sierra Club. There were many more Sierra Club outings in my future, but this one is still one of the most memorable after 50 plus years. Partially because before this outing I would have never imagined what some people do in the wilderness.
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Bear Story – Feeding the Ranger

Yosemite Back Packing

Wilderness backpacking along Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River at the second camp south of the Tuolumne Meadows trail head, Yosemite National Park. Diane Foutz, David Foutz, Darlene Foutz, Dolores Foutz. Just before the second bear intrusion. Stephenson tent hangs from a tree drying while we finish breakfast. Bear came from the trees.

First Intrusion by the bears.

We were having breakfast when the back country ranger came over and asked if we had any bear trouble. She looked slim and trim in the National Park Uniform with her blonde hair tucked under the trademark “Smokey the Bear” wide-brim hat. We said no, but we could hear them last night and the camper next to us lost his backpack to the bears including all his food and his expensive camera. He was out looking for his backpack and camera at the present time. We also heard that the scout troop heading south along the John Muir trail to Mt. McKinley had also lost all their food to the bears. She said they were not the only ones. Apparently everyone in the campsite — including her — had lost their food to the bears. We were the only exception.
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