Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending a slideshow and talk given by Peter Croft for the annual Ventura County Search and Rescue All-Team Training Event. (Kelly and I were guests, Kelly is a former SAR member). The presentation was powerful, with amazing photos of the High Sierra adventures Croft has focused much of his career on. Lots of Epperson shots, and Peter talked about Greg’s ability to blend into the background, documenting the climbing without taking away from it.
We spoke briefly after the Q&A, but later that evening as we were catching up with folks, I approached Peter on impulse and invited him to climb in Malibu Creek with Kelly, Cliff and I. He said: “I did bring climbing stuff…. How far away is it?”. I left thinking that we might, just might be sharing a rope with climbing legend Peter Croft the next day.
Well, as you can deduce from the title of this post , I got a call the next day from Lieutenant Kevin Hartigan of Upper Ojai SAR (A local legend in his own right). He and Peter were game to go!
I was excited! We rendezvoused nearby and caravanned down to the big city. After some tricky routefinding on the 101 highway 😉 we reconvened at the trailhead and hiked in with some light rain. The five of us (2 SAR members Kevin and Emily, Kelly, Peter and I) met with Cliff (Also a SAR member one of Kelly’s climbing partner’s) and headed to The Ghetto (aka Little Europe).
Peter climbs in a deliberate and controlled manner, a joy to watch. He navigated Malibu’s confusing abundance of pockets confidently, no searching with the hands or feet. I could’ve watched him the whole time if I hadn’t been climbing and belaying.
All too soon, Peter had to leave for another speaking engagement. He shook all of our hands and thanked us for our hospitality. No, thank You Peter!