Homemade Bashies

The origin of our homemade Bashies is uncertain. They were one of the first “odd pieces” of gear in the Vertical Archaeology archives and probably date from sometime in the early 1990s or late 1980s. I believe they were an experiment or a design concept by a climber trying to think through a problem and using available materials to work out their ideas. Both are unused and I’m not sure they would have held anything but body weight at best. The idea is sound but the solder material used to make them would fail under any significant load.

Surprisingly, two bashies almost identical to ours are in the Neptune Mountaineering collection in Boulder, Colorado and are labeled as “Beat Ons”. I don’t think they are related to our examples but they look very similar.Neptune Mountaineering Beat OnsThis photograph was taken through the glass display case on a recent visit to Neptune’s amazing gear museum. If you’re ever in Boulder stop in and take a look.

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2 Responses

  1. Chris Nelson says:

    My brother Steve made 3 of these that looked just like the ones in the Neptune case. I don’t think he invented these, he just made them better. This would have been after an attempt of Chasm View in the Black Canyon with Brian Robertson in the spring of 1972 and before the fall of 1973. The only time I used one of them was in 1973 just before the FA of Mescalito. Chuck Pratt had decided not to do the climb so Charlie Porter, Hugh Burton & Steve Sutton were looking for a new partner. Steve Sutton took me to the base of El Cap and we did Aid bouldering. I climbed up a dead end seam on copperheads for about 20 feet and Steve said “Good job, that’s as far as you can go.” and I said “No, I’m going to try one of these.” I laid it on a slight dish in the rock and beat it flat, clipped in and climbed up to waist level, looked down at Steve and said “Looks good!” After that, I was in for the climb!

    • Curator says:

      Wow Chris! It’s great to have you comment on my site! I agree with you, I don’t think the examples in Neptunes are the first or anything. I have seen a few other examples in other places.
      It’s neat to hear about the history from Mescalito too. My partner and I did the first “clean” ascent of Mescalito in 1997 and I lead most of the crazy heading pitches down low as well as some of the tricky traverses. You guys really were on top of your game for that climb. It’s a proud line and I believe it’s one of the best on El Cap.
      I tried to minimise the use of fixed bashies but in a bunch of places there was just no other way forward in my mind…I Guess it took 5.14 fingers of steel to eventually figure out a solution.

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