MASTER CLASS | THE EPIC CALIFORNIA ROCK CLIMBERS OF THE SEVENTIES

The Stonemasters: California Rock Climbers in the Seventies

Their ranks included John Long, John Yablonski, John Bachar, Tobin Sorenson and Richard Harrison, this long-haired band of bros from Southern California, who, armed with little more than frayed cut-offs, dark shades and folded bandanas, heralded the golden age of American rock climbing. They called themselves the Stonemasters—cheeky, but deserved—in their stripped-down, bare-bones approach to climbing, they devised revolutionary techniques, underscored by their renegade attitudes. Balancing intensity and exuberance, the Stonemasters were a team of some of the most innovative daredevils the world has ever seen, and in the early 1970s, these laid-back originators of adventure sports were risking life and limb, long before the X Games had a moniker, before Title IX passed legislation, and before the Z-Boys had a pubic hair to scratch between them.

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