Warren Banks: This
is a photo of Warren climbing on Fatted Calf Boulder near Pueblo in the
1970s. I met Warren shortly after I moved to Pueblo in 1971 to take a job
at the college here. His friend, Steve Cheney, a well-known Colorado Springs
climber, mentioned to Warren I had moved to Pueblo. Warren gave me a call,
and I explained the sort of climbing I was interested in. Very soon after
that he accompanied my wife and me on a trip to Flagstaff Mountain at Boulder,
where he was initiated into the bouldering culture. I can still see the big
grin on his face!
For the next several years Warren and I pursued the most rewarding
aspect of the sport: searching out and exploring new bouldering gardens.
We discovered and established a number of problems in Little Owl Canyon,
the Ripper area, Fatted Calf Canyon, Lost Canyon, and several other sandstone
and granite areas in the plains and wooded mountains around Pueblo. Warren
was tall, thin and powerful and developed great skill as he and I worked on
the beautiful Dakota Sandstone. He became interested also in longer climbs,
particularly granite cracks, and spent a lot of time with several rather famous
climbers from the Colorado Springs region at Turkey Rock and elsewhere, practicing
this painful but satisfying art.
Warren joined the Navy a few years after we met, and traveled the
world on an aircraft carrier. After his first tour, he left the service for
more attractive opportunities. He married a charming girl named Andy and
settled into a responsible position as an engineer at the huge, nearby Commanche
Power Plant. He and Andy had two children, Tyler and Daniell, who are now
Warren drifted away from rock climbing and took up the new sport
of ice climbing, and was joined by his son Tyler, who preferred the fragile
and frigid medium over warm, sculptured sandstone. In his early 50s, my old
friend scales the most intimidating frozen waterfalls Colorado has to offer,
and seems to enjoy it! Scares me just to think of trying to cling to the slippery
stuff! However, I think I've seen some evidence that Warren is back on the
rock, as well. I hope so!
Over the years we enjoyed quite a few Tequilla Sunrises and Corona
Beers, and discussed esoteric philosophies. Warren introduced me to the writings
of Carlos Castaneda - for which I have sincere appreciation, as this led
to a profound personal experience. Warren is very intelligent and witty and
was a delightful bouldering partner. He's also the kind of climber I most
admire: a person who, though highly proficient in climbing, accepts other
serious responsibilities in his life. May you continue to thrive, skating
up those giant icicles, Warren!