What a treat from these couple of peaches. One of the greatest tales of American climbing ever written. Sit back and enjoy Chuck Pratt's The View From Dead Horse Point.
Pratt was one of the greatest climbers of his generation, sitting at the big table along with the likes of Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chiounard and Tom Frost. Yet his was one of the more enigmatic and least public. While he publicised little his achievements, his writings were few, but hugely significant. Most notable were The South Face of Mount Watkins, and this, The View From Dead Horse Point. He was, according to Robbins, the best climbing writer of his generation. He passed away in 2000, dying in his sleep from a heart attack.
The article was first published in Ascent magazine in 1970. The editors of this magazine, Steve Roper and Allen Steck, who doubtless had much to do with its quality, kindly granted me permission to have it read out. Thank you, gentlemen. You can find it today in the classic collection of articles from the era, The Games Climbers Play.
I am so chuffed to have the article read by the only person active today who I think could have done it justice. Chris Schulte is a modern-day desert explorer, spending cold weeks alone on the depths of Utah winters scouring for and climbing new boulders. Chris' journeys are well worth following for anyone who loves what the desert gives. I'm sure it's why the broken-hearted used to join the French Foreign Legion. Chris' monologue after the story is as great as the story.
So there you have it, finally. One of my favourite stories, now a personal highlight of Jam Crack Podcast.
As usual listen via the player below. Better again go via iTunes, or to Stitcher Radio, or on Spotify. If you like the podcast, I'd really appreciate it if you would subscribe via one of these services. That way the shows will download automatically. That way it won't just be shows from famous people who get heard, but also the less famous who will be equally interesting (or boring).