This episode is with my good friend and long time adventure compadre Gary Bard. Gary is the older brother of Allan and Dale Bard. Allan was a great climber and even better on skis pioneering the red line route in the eastern sierra. Dale was one of the finest boulders and climbers in the Camp 4 hey days in Yosemite. Gary has a unique career in the Outdoor Biz. His “day job” was in the Berkeley Fire department ultimately retiring as deputy Chief. He spent time in retail with REI and Marmot in Berkeley, was a tech rep for Ortovox for many years and has many expeditions in adventure travel including safaris, skiing in Norway and a circumnavigation of ellesmere Island. Many of you know the Bard Boys as great story tellers and Gary does not disappoint in this chat, enjoy!
First Exposure to the Outdoors
Trout fishing with my dad. Every year soon as school was out we took off for two weeks on a family vacation kind of thing. The three three boys and mom and dad. The day school got out we loaded the station wagon put our one wheel trailer behind and off we went. We went everywhere, some of the most memorable ones are Lake Almanor, we went to a couple lakes up in Washington and Oregon and a lot of times to Trinity Lake. It was straight spin fishing.
Things we talked about
Army Ranger School
Berkeley Fire Dept
Palisade School of Mountaineering
I have always been somebody who doesn’t hesitate when it comes to doing things I know nothing about. I got offered a job with Pitney Bowes when I got out of the military repairing mailing machines and I didn’t even know what a mailing machine was. I took the job, it was a lot of fun and I had a great time. I had a lot of combined outdoor experience and I had some great opportunities there’s no question about it. I mean some of the things I did were directly related to the fact that I had time off and some money to spare. When I came back from the military first thing I did was take my brothers Allan and Dale rock climbing to Indian Rock. The third time I took them they were better than I was so what’s the advice for people- that is take what you know, have a goal and then work toward it.
I was also reading stuff about explorers and talking to people and learning from things they did. It just kept building and building and then every once awhile you get to use some of it.
In the fire service we had a goal and that is never make the same mistake twice. That’s a good goal in life. So learn things about things you like and are interested in, step forward and try it, that’s my advice.
Other Outdoor Activities
Cross Country Skiing, Birding, Kayaking, Hiking
The Grumpy Historian by Ed Asner
Alone by Admiral Byrd
Best Gear Purchase under $100
Swiss Army Knife– Mountaineer model
Connect with Gary