Author Topic: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine  (Read 813 times)

Jody

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Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« on: January 09, 2021, 09:27:43 PM »
My dad, James Langford, passed away last February. John Gill graciously wrote a tribute for Climbing's "Climbers We Lost in 2020" which just published this week on their website.

Brad Young suggested I post the link here as dad was Chief Ranger at PNM from 1967-1977 and was known in the Pinnacles climbing community and its history.

I remember those years fondly, living in that little rock house on the hill to the left just before reaching the upper parking lot.

Here is the link: https://www.climbing.com/news/climbers-we-lost-in-2020/#section_34

Miss you dad.

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 09:41:12 PM »
Thanks for posting this Jody.

I think I can say without a doubt that the climbing route Feather Canyon is my favorite of those your dad put up. I think he'd be pleased to hear that it's become quite popular and universally considered an excellent climb.


F4?

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 09:44:55 PM »
Sorry for the loss.

Cool write-up.
I'm not worthy.

JC w KC redux

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 08:53:46 AM »

Thanks for posting Jody.
I read quite a few of the stories along with the one about your dad.
I remember poking around the old posts here on the forum and finding one where you recalled free soloing Flip a Coin Chimney.

http://www.mudncrud.com/forums/index.php?topic=307.msg3177#msg3177

It sounds like you had a lot of fun growing up in the park and your dad was a big part of that.
Not trying to make this post about me but I found it an odd coincidence that this post should pop up today.
Today would have been my mom's 90th birthday.
Condolences to you and your family and thanks again for sharing.
I'll toast tonight to lives well lived  :thumbup: :biggrin:

Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 09:07:07 AM »
Hi JC...next Sunday, the 17th, is my dad's bday. He would have been 89. Sorry for your loss. The pain never seems to go away. Lost my mom suddenly in 2016 and still can't look at a picture of her without crying.

Those freesolos I did...none of them were hard but I definitely could have killed myself. When you are 9 yrs old it is funny how you don't think about those things. My dad wasn't too happy when he found out...but he was a horrible example.

When we first moved to the Pinnacles I was three. He wanted to explore the area one oevening so we took off up the trail to the reservoir. Stopped at the monolith. Dad was in his hiking boots and decided to start climbing. Did the first pitch of the Regular route to the ledge and then downclimbed to where he could jump to the limb on the oak tree and downclimbed that. I watched and just wanted to copy him the rest of my life. :)
Chuck Richards mentioned this little "incident" in his 1974 guide.

JC w KC redux

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 10:28:17 AM »
^^^
Great story.

I jumped down to a ledge on a limestone cliff one day (out hiking in KY) - trying to retrieve a dropped flashlight for a friend. I got the flashlight but when I turned around to go back up, I realized it was not going to happen. There was a tree not too far out of reach - so I psyched up, jumped and shimmied down.   


From Richards guidebook.

The original ascent of Monolith was February 17th, 1935 by Dave & Ralph Brower, Bill Van Vorrhis & George Rockwood who clammered up the oak on the corner under the Regular route's belay ledge...then dropped onto the rock and climbed knobs to the ledge...over the pedestal and to the top. No one in recent years has been known to repeat this maneuver. A close variation was achieved by Jim Langford who climbed 3rd class to the ledge and downclimbed the tree to get out.

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 11:26:55 AM »

Those freesolos I did...none of them were hard but I definitely could have killed myself. When you are 9 yrs old it is funny how you don't think about those things.


It's why they make soldiers out of 18 year olds.



Quote

My dad wasn't too happy when he found out...but he was a horrible example.


I think that I am lucky to have had girls (or I'd likely be hearing this said about me).


Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 12:46:14 PM »
Yeah Brad, taking them on the PCT is arguably safer. :)

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2021, 02:33:16 PM »

Yeah Brad, taking them on the PCT is arguably safer. :)


I have no idea what you are talking about....




Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2021, 02:39:15 PM »
LOL! Oh does that pic bring back memories. Our dads were horrible examples as are we to our children.

I can't tell for sure from the photo but it does look like the waist belt is undone. My dad aways made sure our belt was unhooked so we could shed the thing if we fell in and not get dragged down.

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 02:49:57 PM »
^^^

Absolutely unbuckled!

(And a conversation about this exact issue already took place on the PCT thread from August of 2020, where this shot originally appeared.)


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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 08:29:03 PM »
Good Stories Jody and condolences.
Here's to sweat in your eye

Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2021, 08:27:19 AM »
Happy Birthday Dad!

He would have been 89 today. :(

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2021, 09:59:09 AM »
I made sure to find reception and call my dad last evening. His 86th birthday.

Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2021, 06:55:56 PM »
Brad, did you do Feather Canyon this weekend?

I was 10 or 11 when my dad took me up. He just soloed each pitch and then dropped the rope to me and belayed me up.

JC w KC redux

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2021, 08:07:01 AM »
Brad, did you do Feather Canyon this weekend?
I was 10 or 11 when my dad took me up. He just soloed each pitch and then dropped the rope to me and belayed me up.

We talked to and saw a party on Feather Canyon this past week. We talked to them in the parking lot in the morning and then saw them again later in the day. I was just finishing rebolting Aliens Ate My Buick on Tuff Dome when we heard them on H&L. Sounded like they had a fun. 

Brad Young

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2021, 05:32:36 PM »

Brad, did you do Feather Canyon this weekend?

I was 10 or 11 when my dad took me up. He just soloed each pitch and then dropped the rope to me and belayed me up.


I did not do Feather Canyon since I had other commitments. But as I think you know, it's become quite popular (and will be rated three out of three possible stars in the new guidebook).


Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2021, 08:40:30 PM »
It seems like the last one just came out...time flies!


Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2021, 07:13:07 AM »
I made sure to find reception and call my dad last evening. His 86th birthday.

Were you aware that your dad shares a birthday with Pinnacles NM?


Jody

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Re: Tribute to James Langford by John Gill, Climbing Magazine
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2021, 10:03:30 AM »
Just a bump for dad. Thinking about him today.