January 13, 2009

Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins … Reg Lake.


Excerpt of Grayson Schaffer’s great article:

Reg is a contemporary of a band of California adventurers that includes Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, The North Face founder Doug Tompkins, and big-wall legend Royal Robbins. The three climbed together in Yosemite in the sixties; in the seventies, they turned from rock to water, exploring California’s steep creeks and waterfalls. And if you wanted to run hard whitewater, Reg was the guy you called.

Among them, the four notched first descents on now classic runs like the Upper Kern, flowing off Mount Whitney, and the Middle Fork of the Kings, through Kings Canyon National Park. In 1980, they ran the Devils Postpile section of the San Joaquin, which features an unscoutable, unportageable Class V gorge called the Crucible that’s still feared even by the best young kayakers. Reg was the “probe” for that line. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy,” says expedition paddler Ben Stookesberry, 29. “He’s a complete badass.”

While the others went on to found successful clothing companies based on the dirtbag image, Reg stayed…

…read the beginning and end of ‘Hustle and Floe’ on Grayson Schaffer’s gorgeous web site.


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