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Sam Lightner Jr. Appreciation Thread
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By Brad Brandewie
Jun 3, 2010
Maya's first trip to RMNP.

I was talking with Sam this morning and he informed me that he had climbed his 100th desert tower.

Right on Sam! Congratulations!


Just climbing 100 towers in the desert is impressive but what really struck me were the stats that went along with those towers...

29 were done solo
69 had anchor replacement or required new anchors
20 via a new route
12 were first ascents of the tower


I'm posting this because he would consider it bad form to spray about his contributions/accomplishments on MP.

BUT COME ON!

Out of 100 towers he has taken the time to install solid anchors on 69 of them. That's freaking awesome! Having been there for a few of those towers I can attest that replacing old angles and faded slings with half inch bolts and beefy chain does not make for a light pack! In fact, we weighed his solo haulbag the last time I was in Moab and it came in at 77lbs.

He has also
1. Funded the anchor replacement work he has done.

2. Served on the board of the Access Fund for 6 years.

3. Put up hundreds of routes from Utah to Thailand that have been enjoyed by climbers from all over the world.

4. Written 7 books including the guidebook for Thailand, All Elevations Unknown (about a wild expedition to a giant spire in the heart of Borneo that had never been explored by climbers), Exotic Rock (which covers Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Morocco, Greece, Norway, and South Africa), and the Roads Through Time series. (The Moab - Roads Through Time book is particularly interesting if you spend much time in the area)

5. Served 3 years as the President of the Moab Area Climbers Alliance, who's goal is to restore/improve the relationship between climbers and the NPS units in the Moab area.

6. Taken over the lead after I nearly wet myself. Hey, this one's damn important!


Anyway, I just thought I would use this as an excuse to give a shout out to Sam and say thanks for all your hard work.
It is much appreciated!

Cheers,
Brad


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By AJS
From Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2010
In the sea of Cortez - Baja California, Mexico

WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Jun 3, 2010
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

+1 for Sam. We love you man.

I head the pleasure of holding his rope for this horror fest . I was sore for weeks... and he just laughed (cackled really) his way through it.

Rock on Sam.


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By kirra
Jun 3, 2010

thanks Sam -your the man

The Fang seems to be the star of the Amphitheatre right now. Sam Lightner Jr. taking his rightful turn on lead. Nice work, Sam!
The Fang seems to be the star of the Amphitheatre right now. Sam Lightner Jr. taking his rightful turn on lead. Nice work, Sam!

i have no tower photos yet, hmmm...


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By slim
Administrator
Jun 3, 2010
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

brad, i think you and/or ben(?) have climbed 100+, how on earth did you guys beat sam to it? i figured he must have climbed 200 by now. must be all that time he wastes replacing them damned anchors. :)

congrats sam, i hope to join that club some day, but i have a lot to go. would help if i would hurry up and win the lotto.


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By Umph!
Jun 3, 2010

Damn, those are some serious creds Sam.

All of your efforts are (and have been) greatly appreciated!


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By mountainsense
Jun 3, 2010

sam=my hero. S


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By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Jun 3, 2010
The Shield

Thank you Brad for the Kudos... I really do appreciate it. You are a great friend.


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By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Jun 3, 2010
The Shield

And thanks to everyone for the kind words... see you at the crags.


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By Jim Amidon
Jun 3, 2010
What ??

Julie and I were getting back to our car at Ouray a couple of years ago and parked in front of us was Sam's vehicle.

The four of us were all getting back to our cars at the same time, we all said hello, maybe asked about the day, blah, blah, blah.

But what's always stuck out to me is how Sam saw thru our windshield to the feather boa wrapped around the top of the drives seat, and said, " Nice Boa"..................

Glad some one so observant is doing so much, so so many can enjoy,

THANKS >>>>>


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jun 3, 2010
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

That's awesome stuff, Sam!

He's also a gentleman, scholar, and Hell raiser on MP. I hope some day to share a few pitches and buy dinner afterward.


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By Josh Gross
Jun 4, 2010

Brad, thanks, for posting this thread. The climbing community is very lucky to have Sam out there. The Moab regions anchors where a time bomb, old, rusting, uv damaged and worn out! Many classics have been fixed by Sam in the last couple of years!
Thanks Sam for having endless energy for helping the climbing community out!


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By Brad Brandewie
Jun 4, 2010
Maya's first trip to RMNP.

slim,

I think we beat Sam because he spent all that time replacing anchors and we usually rapped off of the crap angles that were there. :)

I'm moving over to Sam's camp though after reading Darren's comments on The Oracle and after removing pins without a funkness on the Warrior.

Experience has shown me that the best anchors in the desert are bolts and that pins, though they have their place, should be avoided if possible. (which is kind of a bummer because pins make much better footholds :)


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By Matt Pickren
Jun 4, 2010
Where did the rock go?

Sam is a motivational climber. I mean anyone who jugs Westside Story without aiders and rebolts the entire route is THE MAN. But seriously, I look up to and know we all appreciate his work in the desert, the desert SW is a safer place because of him.

Having shared a couple pitches on multiple towers, I must say he is in the top 3 partners I could ever hope to have on any terrain. He sings well and lets me carry all the gear, what else can a partner ask for?


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By USBRIT
From Cumbria.UK
Jun 4, 2010
The Sword of Damocles.... a real Beauty. P. Ross on the summit. Palisade and I-70 below.

Well done Sam... but do not stop ..."real" (young) men can climb 200...Its just so rare these days that so called climbers do more than single pitch climbs ....


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By steve edwards
From SLC, UT
Jun 4, 2010

Big thumb's up from me, too. If I run into you at some crag beer's on me.


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By Frank derabit
Jun 4, 2010

This fellow Sam Lightner Jr. sounds like quite an impressive fellow. The concept of accomplishing such profound ascents while also improving the infrastructure of the climbing arena is an impressive feat. Amazing!


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By Ben Kiessel
Jun 4, 2010
2003

Yeah Sam!


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By toddgordon
From Joshua Tree, California
Jun 5, 2010

100 towers;...and lived to tell the tale!...Good on ya;...and thanks for all the hard work, time, energy, and your own money to replace anchors, bolts, pitons that are old and unsafe;....It's alot of work, and it is greatly appreciated by the climbing community. It takes forever to get 100 towers;....and it's a small group of knuckleheads who , for some reason or another, manage to scale 100 towers.....very impressive and way to go, Sam. Have 100 beers now;..one for each tower.....(spread the beers out over 2 or 3 days too...probably a good idea...) .. climb on!,...be safe, and thanks again for all the hard work and effort on your part. You RULE!


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jun 5, 2010
El Chorro

Paul Ross wrote:
...Its just so rare these days that so called climbers do more than single pitch climbs ....


In what world do you live in? Oh yea, Boulder ;)

Thanks for all of your work Sam.


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By Greg D
From Here
Jun 5, 2010
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Sam, thanks not only for all the work you have done, but the quality of your work. I have clipped your anchors many times. Good to see some people still take serious pride in their work such as you, "wildhorse" (Darren), and Kevin Stricker.


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Jun 5, 2010
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Sam is from Wyoming you know....

Cowboy up!
Cowboy up!


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By Kelly C.
From Moab, UT
Jun 5, 2010

Congratulations Sam! What an accomplishment!


I want to add my thanks to those already posted. Thank you for your example, and work for the climbing community.


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By Darren Knezek
Jun 7, 2010
A route I established at The Overlook called, Photo Opp. Rated 10d.

Was The Pillbox, tower 100?
And what were your top 3 favorite towers?
Congrats!!!!


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By Bill Duncan
From Jamestown, CO
Jun 8, 2010
Leading the 3rd pitch of West Side Story.

I ran into Sam a few weeks ago on top of a local landform, and I was glad to have the opportunity to thank Sam in person for all of his hardware contributions to safety over the years. It's rare when someone who puts in the extra time and money into an area gets thanked for it.
Cheers!


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By M.Morley
Administrator
From Sacramento, CA
Jun 8, 2010
8-21-09

Well done, Sam. Thank you for all of your contributions to the community! Congrats on bagging your 100th tower, too. Badass!


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