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Jimmie Dunn Climbs Anaconda at Garden of the Gods in 1976

I've been scanning some of my black-and-white photographs and found this portrait I took of Jimmie Dunn in 1976 at the base of Anaconda in the Garden of the Gods. Jimmie and I had just done a few laps on Anaconda, one of his favorite routes.

Jim often did Anaconda, a steep 5.11 route up thin cracks on the Tower of Babel, for training. He would lap it over and over, sometimes 20 or 30 times in a day, and had it completely wired. I'm sure Jim could do it blindfolded.

One time in the late '70s I belayed him on Anaconda. We were yakking at the base before he climbed and he forgot to finish tying his knot on his swami belt (harnesses were uncomfortable in those days so we usually climbed with a swami belt or wrapped one-inch webbing around our waists).

Famed Colorado rock climber Jimmie Dunn at the base of Anaconda in the Garden of the Gods in 1986.

Jimmie Dunn at the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado. 1976. Photo @ Stewart M. Green

Jim led Anaconda and when he got to the hard part below the anchors, a tricky section with opposing sidepulls on slightly overhanging sandstone, he realized that his knot was incomplete. He made it through the crux but was shaking when he reached the drilled-piton anchors...whew!

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