RIP Brutus of Wyde

1:53 p.m. on June 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Bruce Bindner, a climber some here may remember, and a prolific contributer to the original rec.climbing.useful, the predecessor of this forum, died in an auto accident a few days ago (Friday night June 12) when his car went off the road on his way to Castle Rock Spire in Sequoia National Park. I and others here have mentioned an incident that pulled a large community of climbers together on the original RCU, the disappearance of John MIksits, "Zippo", on Mount Shasta back in April 2000. Brutus helped with the search, and discovered Zippo's body on the Whitney Glacier Memorial Day weekend some 6 weeks after Zippo and his climbing partner, Craig, disappeared. His companion and constant climbing partner of many years, Em (aka "Nurse Ratchet") were wonderful people and great contributors to the climbing community. He will be missed sorely, as these two links show.

I treasure my "Brutus Says" cup. It says,

Brutus says:

"Don't fall!


You could DIE"

And I will always remember the climb I did with Brutus and Em and an itinerant Scotsman whose name I have forgotten on PennyRoyal Arches. I think I posted some photos of that climb on the old rec.climbing.useful. That was a strange time, for reasons that will become apparent.

I had gone to the now-annual climb-in at Gianelli Edges and party at Royal Robbins' cabin in Pinecrest on Friday night and Saturday, then drove over to Tuolumne Meadows. I was to give one of the "Real Climber" talks in the Meadows for the tourists. Brutus and Em met me over there and we shared a campsite. They stopped by to heckle me a bit during my talk on Sunday. Monday morning, we did a pair of climbs at PennyRoyal, Em and me on a 5.7 that went up along the arches themselves, Bruce and the Scot a 5.11 that went pretty much directly up from the left end of the arch. We met at the top and set the first rap. Bruce wanted to return the next day to work on something, so the rap lines were to be fixed. He told me I didn't need to carry any of the gear down, so he headed off down the single line. At the intermediate anchor, he called up that the line was clear after he set the next single line. I followed, then discovered at the crossover that it was a hanging transfer, and me with only a couple of small cordelettes and 2 spare carabiners. Made for an exciting transfer. At the base of the climb we studied the route that they were to do the next day and talked about future climbs together.

We hiked back to the car from the bottom of the lines and said our farewells, since I needed to get back to the SFBay Area that evening. I had several things to get done before heading off the next weekend for New Mexico for the annual Climbing Directors' Conference at Philmont.

The day of that climb and the day I was driving back was Monday, September 10, 2001.

8:22 p.m. on June 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for posting this, Bill. I've always wondered what happened to the old crew that used to hang out here.

Hope Brutus is happy where he's at now. No need to worry about falling now.

My condolences to his family.


June 24, 2018
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