Sad to report the passing of one of the original owners of the Rhode Island Rock Gym, Joe Goudreau this past Monday. Joe held the rope on my first trad lead and taught me just about everything I know about mountaineering. RIP Joe, you will be greatly missed!
I met Joe back in 1987 when we were working for a company in Boston. He was nicknamed GI Joe by one of the employees because he had been in the military. Joe had climbed in Lincoln Woods and other places in Rhode Island. The 2 of us and his Rhode Island buddies also climbed in the Boston area.
Joe and I started taking trips to the Gunks. In 1988 there was a big lay off and Joe and I headed out west for the summer. Layoffs in May mean go climbing.
Joe did some sterling climbing including: East Buttress of El Cap regular route on Half Dome both Cathedral Spires Yosemite spire Charlotte's Dome - we did the ascent in 3 hours Royal Arches and North Dome in a day (20+ pitches) Sun Ribbon arete on Temple Crag (20+ pitches) Clyde Minaret Higher Cathedral rock
That summer we did 5 or 6 routes with 20+ pitches in a day. We also climbed many shorter routes in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne and Red Rocks Vegas and Paradise Forks Arizona.
One night we did the Golden Gate bridge.
Joe went from a decent top roper to a great climber that summer. He went on to climb in many places including the Canadian Rockies.
Joe gave me my first lesson at his gym in 93 and became a friend shortly thereafter.He was a true joy to be around and I feel very lucky to have known him.It makes me smile to think of him laughing as he is clipping a manky piece of gear or tied off stubby ice screw.Always a great sense of humor.RIP