Ila on Mt. Lemmon

Ila on Mt. Lemmon Ila on Mt. Lemmon

The above photos show Ila Rupley climbing on Mt. Lemmon in 1962 (These are the earliest photos I have seen of climbing on Mt. Lemmon). There are several things to check out:

  1. She is climbing in heavy boots.
  2. She is not wearing a harness. The rope is tied directly around her waist.
  3. The "quickdraw" looks like it is hand tied.

I sent Ila an e-mail and asked her about leading. I had the impression she never led. Her response was,

"You asked if I was leading in the rock climbing photo. Yes I was, but that tower is very small, only a practice place. On big climbs I didn't lead, although John occasionally had me lead the last few feet to the summit of a climb, just for the joy of it. We thought the big mountain boots in that photo were amusing; we climbed in big boots for the first year or two, until we finally got the lightweight rock shoes. I think that is the only photo we have of me rock climbing, except for one or two where you just see a helmet with a face coming up the cliff, taken looking down by John as he was belaying me. Lots of photos on snow peaks, however."

Copyright ©: 2002, John and Ila Rupley
Revised: March 2, 2002