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RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:42 am
by sgenise
In the Third Edition of High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails, Secor mentions that he knows of one peak in the Sierra that does not have a recorded first ascent, but that he won't reveal the name or location and that he never plans to climb it himself. In 2004, he did divulge the SECOND to last unclimbed peak, and it was climbed later that year, so I totally understand why he would never reveal the name of the peak, but...

Does anyone have an inkling of what that peak might be?

*Note: I am in full support of Secor maintaining the mystery, and I definitely don't have the ability to make that ascent myself even if I found out which one it was, but curiosity is burning!

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:57 am
by Yank-Tank
That is very hard to believe for such a small area with so many millions of visitors per year.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:25 am
by Matt Lemke
I agree with Matt here, there is no way anything down there is totally unclimbed

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:26 pm
by mrchad9
Just because he doesn't know if anyone climbed it does not mean no one has climbed it.

Despite his own assertions and the beliefs of some readers he is not omniscient. There are plenty of errors on particular routes in the book... no reason to think this is not just another one.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:06 pm
by sgenise
To be clear, I also suspect everything's been climbed at this point, and certainly whatever has been unclimbed is probably uninspiring and remote and therefore overlooked. My main question was whether or not anyone had an idea of where this peak was that has no documented first ascents.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:32 pm
by Yank-Tank
Go on a peak climbing odyssey and discover and document the unknown.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:56 am
by wallspeck
I have a close friend who has documented every workout/run/bike ride he has done since 1982. He can tell you miles and times for any date.
And then there is me.... I can't tell you what i did 2 weeks ago... but I run/hike/climb/ride 3-6 days a week and have for the last 46 years.
I think Secor's personality is a documentor (ha ha, "ya think??") and he could tell you every peak, mt, hill or trail he's ever set foot on. And that inevitably affects his perception of what other folks do; i.e., "document".

MY perception, is that 95% (conservative estimate) of everyone who is in the mountains does NOT publicly document anything except the truly extraordinary. I've climbed all sorts of ridges, peaklets, etc. and not thought a thing about them, even when I thought I might be the first ever to set foot there. I just thought "Cool! Doesn't look like anyone has ever been here before!" And never posted it, never even wrote it down.
I don't check with the Sierra club or anyone else. I don't care. Most of the time I don't even try to find out elevations much less names for such minor peaklets.

It is ridiculous to even seriously discuss such a thing (no insult intended to the OP as obviously it's just armchair talk and fun.)
However, if indeed he has discovered a peak which the Sierra club (or whoever) has no record of it's being climbed, well then that means exactly ONE THING; the 'documentors' don't have a record of it. That's all.
So the (maybe) 5% of those 'climbers' out there who report and document freakin' everything they do haven't been up it. That means very little.
Silly thing.

I actually think he was just trying to inspire people with a story of a hidden treasure.
Well, OK. Whatever.
A better way would be to hide a near mint 1887 silver dollar on an obscure peak and post a Forrest Finn style poem about it. Hmmm. Maybe I will do that. But then again, maybe I'll just "claim" I did and that's just as good, yeah?

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:05 am
by wallspeck
Oh, and sgenise, sorry to deviate from your actual question which was "Does anyone have an idea of what peak it might be?" My little essay was off-topic from that.
No, I don't have any idea. :-)

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:24 pm
by JD
On an SPS trip some years ago he told several people and swore them to secrecy. Some of those people talked but swore those they told to secrecy. The number of people who know is very limited. I know one of those people and while he would not tell me the location of the peak he did reveal the region; and also why it is clear that the peak has not been climbed.

Most people assume there is no way to know if a peak has been climbed or not. But that's only because they haven't thought about it beyond a cursory level.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:32 pm
by sierraman
How can you be so sure a peak has never been climbed until you climb up there yourself and verify there is no cairn or other evidence of previous ascent?

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:49 am
by wallspeck
JD, that was a good post. The 'secrecy' chain had me laughing.

About it 'being clear' that a peak has not been climbed, I can only imagine one scenario; something like a smooth rock pinnacle sitting on the summit. For instance; if the Lost Arrow Spire had never been climbed, well, it would be obvious.
If the final ascent of such a rock spire defines whether a peak has been climbed, then yeah, you are right.
By that definition, all the poor guys who thought they'd climbed Starlight, but didn't do the milkbottle are wrong.

Outside of that, I can imagine no other scenarios. (?) I guess I might be having trouble thinking above a cursory level. (BTW, that was pretty funny too!)

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:05 am
by asmrz
One would have to define what a"peak or summit" means. If a rock spire can be considered for this" Sierra un-climbed Summit", I have at least a couple of good looking spires close to the crest, at least 3-4 pitches in height from a col. i'm pretty positive, they are unclimbed...

I believe RJ was having (a rare) fun with people when he brought this secret up...Don't tell me that ( let's say) couple dozen SPS people know about this unclimbed summit and not one of them feel any urge to do it...Not likely.

We will most likely never know. Rj is not in position to debate this very much these days.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:20 am
by lcarreau
asmrz wrote:
We will most likely never know. Rj is not in position to debate this very much these days.


Right on! He's probably so RICH from his book sales about"mysterious peaks" that he's probably on a mysterious island with a not-so-mysterious beer
in his hand enjoying the high seas and surf with a group of exotic Amazon women catching crabs for lunch. Or maybe he's just catching crabs.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:50 pm
by bscott
lcarreau wrote:
asmrz wrote:
We will most likely never know. Rj is not in position to debate this very much these days.


Right on! He's probably so RICH from his book sales about"mysterious peaks" that he's probably on a mysterious island with a not-so-mysterious beer
in his hand enjoying the high seas and surf with a group of exotic Amazon women catching crabs for lunch. Or maybe he's just catching crabs.


i haven't see him so i can't say with any authority, but i have heard from multiple people that knew/know him very well that he has just never been the same after his accident. and they don't mean physically.

Re: RJ Secor's Mysterious Unclimbed Peak

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:26 am
by JD
wallspeck wrote:About it 'being clear' that a peak has not been climbed, I can only imagine one scenario; something like a smooth rock pinnacle sitting on the summit. For instance; if the Lost Arrow Spire had never been climbed, well, it would be obvious.


There need not be evidence like a cairn on a peak, even on the Lost Arrow Spire. Think of the FA. They could have prussiked back down instead of adding a piton.

You have to think outside the box.