Nickname Origins : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

A partner of Yosemite Big Wall Pioneer John Salathe was Anton Nelson. He is also known as "Ax". How did he receive this nickname?

John Long, who, with Billy Westbay and Jim Bridwell, was on the party that first climbed the Nose in 1 day. He is also known as Largo. How did he receive this nickname?

-- david cole (, September 22, 2000


Tucker Tech told me in fun over a beer this spring that in Yosemite, unless you have a nickname, you're definitely not as bitchin' as the guys who do. Evidently I made the cut since he pointed out that I am known as "Pass the Pitons" Pete. This nickname goes back to the fall of 1995 which was my first trip back to the Valley after my wife had left me - my Post-Divorce Renaissance, as it were. It was a terrible and traumatic period in my life, and I had turned to God for help. Needless to say He came through big time! I had put up a little cardboard sign in the back of the camper van I had rented that read, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Pitons!" I think at the time I probably only owned about two pitons. The nickname has stuck, and though my bible is a bit dusty these days from neglect, my pin rack is huge!

Yosemite climbers have some of the most colourful nicknames around, far more interesting in my opinion than your standard climber fare. Any morning in the caf you can meet people like Spaz, Nanook, Ben Wa and of course Chongo. I wonder where these nicknames came from?

If this thread takes off, I would love to hear more about Yosemite climbers' nicknames and their origins. Sorry I can't be of help on the Old Timers.

Cheers, "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok

-- "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok (, September 26, 2000.

Espanol-largo english-long Just a guss?

-- bob (, September 27, 2000.

I believe it started as large o Because the man is HUGE!!!! At least thats what we called him down in So Cal.

-- Terry ( junior) (, September 14, 2001.

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