The First Winter Ascent of Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn covered in deep snow at the time of the climb. Mark Sheehan Photo

The first Winter ascent of Mount Heyburn was made by Gordon Williams, Mark Sheehan, Jacques Bordeleau, Chris Puchner and Joe Saviers on December 30, 1974. They climbed the peak from the fifth Bench Lake via the Northwest Ridge. Mark Sheehan recalls: “It was a real slog, breaking trail though waist deep powder on a 45 degree slope. Once we got … Continue reading

The Decker Flat Climbing & Frisbee Club By Ray Brooks

Here’s a group of us at our 4th of July 1971 gathering. Gordon at left in the back row.

I guess we were the Decker Flat Climbing & Frisbee Club (DFC&FC) before anyone, including us, knew. The little guy in the back of my mind liked the way the words fit together. Until the name popped into my head we were simply a group of like-minded climbers who lacked an identifying name. However, on a fateful morning in the mountains of … Continue reading

Gordon K. Williams by Ray Brooks

Ray Brooks Photo

Editor’s Note: see additional photos assembled by Jacques Bordeleau at the following link: Gordon K. Williams Photos My friend, high school classmate, climbing and adventure buddy Gordon Williams (aka Stein Sitzmark and, on occasion, “Imstein”) passed away on Tuesday July 23rd at age 69 and 3/4. He leaves a lot of good friends and his loving family behind. Gordon was trained … Continue reading

1975 Fatality on El Capitan

El Capitan from Alice Lake.

[Editor’s note: This August 6, 1975 article by UPI was published in the Idaho Statesman. No other details are known.]     Climber, 24, Dies After 70-Foot Fall United Press International -A mountain climber from North Carolina died in a Boise hospital Tuesday from injuries he suffered in a fall Sunday on El Capitan in the Sawtooth Wilderness. A hospital … Continue reading

The First Winter Ascent of the Finger of Fate by Jacques Bordeleau

Detail summit photo, First Winter Ascent, March 19, 1973. L to R > James Christopher Hecht, Harry Bowren, Gordon K. Williams, Joe Fox.

The first winter ascent of the Finger of Fate was made on March 19, 1973 by James Christopher Hecht, Harry Bowron, Gordon K. Williams and Joe Fox. I was part of the support team which also included Art Troutner and John Platt. I took the color photos. I developed the black and white photos that were shot by the ascent … Continue reading

Off Belay Magazine —The Sawtooth Issue 1975

Off Belay Magazine was THE climbing magazine of its day. The following articles contained the most extensive discussion of the Sawtooth Range yet published in 1975. Special thanks to Ray Brooks for providing the scans. (Click on the scans to enlarge) … Continue reading