Jan Conn in the News in 2012

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Jan Conn in the News in 2012

Postby DirtDoc » Dec 2, 2012 6:53 pm

Jan Conn in the News in 2012

There have been several wonderful tributes to Herb and Jan Conn in the last year. Mostly focused on their climbing in the Needles of the Black Hills of South Dakota. This is where I met them and how I got to know them, before they followed me into the world below.

Herb and Jan wedding photo 1944

While I was still climbing and caving the in east in 1958, I purchased a rock climbing hammer holster from Herb and Jan's mail order leather shop.
I still have it (though it is a bit worn and crusty, like myself).

When I came west in 1959, I stopped to visit them and met them for the first time. And then we went climbing together.

We learned about each other above the ground, and even better, beneath it. Rock climbing was almost a different sport in the 1950s than it is now. Rappelling was just about the most dangerous thing you could do as a climber, and we avoided it every time we could. We climbed on the rock developing our individual skills (and down-climbed what we had just ascended). The rope and our companions were there in case we overestimated our abilities.

Cavers, on the other hand, began to use the rope as a tool. The nylon highway. Cavers were not safe on the rock. Climbers were not safe in a cave. Some of that has not changed much today.

Here are a couple more examples of the kind of leather work Herb and Jan did to support their climbing in the Needles. This was a gift from them. A 8x10 binder for photos of my outdoor adventures. Front cover (That's Mt. Teewinot and the Crooked Thumb, above a Jenny Lake Climber's campfire):

And on the back:

Dwight Deal

Recent tributes to Herb and Jan Conn:

Documentary film Up not Down, by Josh Balt
http://www.dpmclimbing.com/climbing-vid ... h/not-down
Winner of best short documentary in the Black Hills Film Festival, Up Not Down features Herb and Jan Conns amazing stories, and showcases Black Hills climbing talent. Funded in part from the South Dakota Artist Council and Kickstarter.

This video works best if you copy and paste the link into your browser and run it after clearing your browser cache

The Needles of Rushmore by Andy Busse and Andy Burr
A climbing guide to some unforgiving rock in Mt. Rushmore National Monument, with a special tribute to Herb and Jan Conn in the section The Birth of Climbing in the Black Hills, Pages 104 and 105


http://www.fixedpin.com/The_Needles_of_ ... lowrez.pdf

If you download the low resolution PDF file from the web site, you can read the text that is in the guidebook.

Jan Conn:Black Hills Faces Magazine,Volume VIII, Issue 4 , (Fall 2012) p 48-52
A wonderful summation of Herb and Jan's life together. I don't think you can access the entire story on line, but the digital version can be purchased for $5.00. It is the best review of their life together that I have read, and well worth the $5.

http://www.blackhillsfaces.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=66

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