059: Don Lauria- Don founded one of the first outdoor stores in Southern California West Ridge Sports, and has a prolific rock climbing career. In this episode he tells us tells us his favorite Norman Clyde story and much more.

December 14, 2017

Show Notes

This episode is with my good friend, Bishop legend and renowned climber Don Lauria. Don is a retired engineer, lives in Bishop, and is the editor and CFO for the Bardini Foundation. He made the third ascent of the Dihedral Wall (1967), the second ascent of the North America Wall (1968), and the second ascent of the Wall of the Early Morning Light (1971), frequently climbing with Dennis Hennek. In this episode we talk about his store West Ridge Sports and much more.

First Exposure to the Outdoors

I was an engineer at North American Aviation back in the early 60s and a friend of mine asked me if I'd like to go backpacking. I'd never been backpacking, I didn't even know what the word really meant. I'd never been in the Sierra and that's where he wanted to go so I went. I didn't own any equipment, didn't have a pack and there weren't any packs back then, this is 1957. So there wasn't much available, Kelty certainly wasn't available so I made my first pack frame out of wood. The guy that asked me to go was an engineer and he had already designed a wooden pack frame. He gave me the plans and I just went home and cut it out and put it together. I went to an army surplus store and found some kind of a canvas bag that sort of fit the frame and sort of nailed it on. We went up to Big Pine Creek to The Third Lake and spent the weekend. I enjoyed myself so much so that I went again the next summer.

Things we talked about

Stony Point

The Sierra Club

West Ridge Sports (Mountaineering)

Yvonn Chouinard

Doug Tompkins

George Marx

Bob Swanson

Jim Thomsen

Greg Thomsen

Royal Robbins

60/40 Parka


Dennis Hennek

Tony Puppo

Chris Iverson

Todd Vogel

Eastside Sports

Allen Steck

Allan Bard

The Bardini Foundation


Norman Clyde

Best Gear Purchase under $100

a good rope

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