A note from Tom to Erik Filsinger 2015,
Notes from Tom's journals:
Dear Erik, Wow, I have been on quite a journey the past coupla days. I started thinking of climbing in the McDowells and nothing much came up at first but reminicing led from one thing to another…..how fun to recall stuff that has been hid away for years. I checked on some journal entries, scrounged up some old black and white photos and the brain juices began to take me on a journey of wonderful recollections. Fun. Nothing out of the ordinary but certainly brought back old memories and friends to mind.
I thought the entry from my Journal for September 14th, 1964 might amuse you. You need to recall that I had been climbing for a little over a year, the AMC had recently been established and I had turned twenty the month before…….
This photo was from the time period ..obviously below the Monk on Camelback.
Tom Kreuser at Camelback mtn
I climbed Pinnacle Peak several times as I recall. Larry Trieber and I were I believe the first to climb the Wedge, the large rock adjacent to climb on Pinnacle Peak. I prussicked a rope thrown over to get to the top , he climbed it. In fact a photo of him "edging" on the rock surface became the cover photo for Dick Aleith's climbing guide that he wrote, drew and published.
Sewrey and I spent a day scrambling in Windy Wocks (Rocks) now surrounded by Troon looking for larger rock routes but we spent the day basically bouldering to our hearts content. Finding that we had over extended our day light and we were on the backside of the mountain from our car. No moon, no flashlight….we negotiated the desert by candle light , using the emergency fire starter candle stub in my backpack. Fun day.
I did climb on one of the other large walls with Larry Trieber once…..remember him having to chop out a lot of brush on a diagonial crack that he was leading. It would have been impossible to continue if he hadn't done alot of pruning. The highlight was lightly tip-toeing past some young owl babies (owlets) on the ledge. We each eyed one another suspiciously ...We didn't bother them they didn't bother us.
Tom's Thumb was the venture that I pursued the most……first to lead the standard route from the AMC.
Tom Kreuser and Tom's Thumb pinnacle in the