Bill Conrod, Salt Lake City, Utah: an interview by John Worsencroft, 13 March 2009

Request archival file or update item information
Title Bill Conrod, Salt Lake City, Utah: an interview by John Worsencroft, 13 March 2009
Alternative Title No. 686 Bill Conrod
Creator Conrod, Bill, 1948-
Contributor Worsencroft, John C., 1981-
Publisher Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Date 2009-03-13
Access Rights I acknowledge and agree that all information I obtain as a result of accessing any oral history provided by the University of Utah's Marriott Library shall be used only for historical or scholarly or academic research purposes, and not for commercial purposes. I understand that any other use of the materials is not authorized by the University of Utah and may exceed the scope of permission granted to the University of Utah by the interviewer or interviewee. I may request permission for other uses, in writing to Special Collections at the Marriott Library, which the University of Utah may choose grant, in its sole discretion. I agree to defend, indemnify and hold the University of Utah and its Marriott Library harmless for and against any actions or claims that relate to my improper use of materials provided by the University of Utah.
Date Digital 2015-07-08
Spatial Coverage Utah, United States, http://sws.geonames.org/5549030/ ; Grand Teton National Park, Teton County, Wyoming, United States, http://sws.geonames.org/5826327/grand-teton-national-park.html
Subject Conrod, Bill, 1948- --Interviews; Mountaineers--Utah--Biography; Rock climbing--Utah; Outdoor recreation--Utah; Skis and skiing--Utah; Mountaineers--Wyoming--Biography; Rock climbing--Wyoming; Outdoor recreation--Wyoming; Park rangers--Biography
Description Transcript (29, 28 pages) of two interviews by John Worsencroft with retired National Park Service ranger Bill Conrod, on 13 and 31 March 2009. Part of the Outdoor Recreation Oral History Project, Everett Cooley Collection tape no. U-1987 and U-2088
Abstract Bill Conrod, born in Germany in 1948 to an American soldier and his family, grew up in Salt Lake City. He began skiing at an early age, and toured with the Wasatch Mountain Club. He spent his youth climbing and skiing, and pursued a career with the National Park Service. He was also a president of the Ute Alpine Club at the University of Utah. Conrod first discusses skiing methods and equipment, and backcountry skiing in Utah. But his real focus is rock climbing, in Utah and in the Tetons. He remembers the absence of climbing gyms along with the more easygoing, less competitive nature of climbing in the 1960s. He ties the old method of climbing to the milieu of the 1960s, and equates it to a young man´s game that older men would move past. The Vietnam War and the draft strongly affected Conrod and the climbing culture by taking young men out of the climbing pool during their prime years. Conrod avoided the draft by attending the University of Utah and later receiving a high draft number. At twenty-one, in 1969, after years of climbing in the Tetons, Conrod began working as a climbing ranger in Grand Teton National Park. He mentions a number of other people working there at the time, and recalls that in perhaps 1970, the culture began to shift toward a serious climbing and outdoor lifestyle that rejected a conventional career. Conrod did some of both, becoming a biologist in 1972. He spent time in Nepal climbing with Arlene Blum, who he discusses briefly. In 1974 Conrod returned to the Park Service at Grand Teton National Park. He remembers that Salt Lakers were serious climbers in the Tetons. He also discusses the ill-fitting cultures of climbing and the old law enforcement-oriented Park Service, which allowed him to get a job as there were few other qualified candidates. Conrod met his wife, a summer Park employee, at Grand Teton. His Park Service career culminated in his retirement from White Sands National Monument in 2005.Though there are numerous asides, the bulk of the interview addresses climbing, from the draft´s impact on climbers, to climbing footwear, to the physical experience of climbing. He relates climbs to the Cirque of the Towers, Pingora and other destinations in Utah, Wyoming and California. His early mentors were his brother Charlie, and Charles Leslie of the Ute Alpine Club, and especially Dave Allen of the Wasatch Mountain Club, who also taught him how to write an excellent cover letter. Conrod´s experience as a climbing ranger in the Tetons sobered him, and took some of the fun out of climbing, but he remembers having excellent supervisors. His last reminiscences focus on the Ute Mountain Club, and its strong fraternal bonds, naming a number of members and officers. Project: Outdoor Recreation. Interviewer: John Worsencroft.
Type Text
Genre oral histories (literary works)
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Rights Digital Image © 2015 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.
Scanning Technician Niko Amaya; Halima Noor
Metadata Cataloger Daniel Patterson; Matt Brunsvik; Anna Neatrour; Ken Rockwell; Patrick Miller
Conversion Specifications Original scanned with Kirtas 2400 and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed TIFF. PDF generated by Adobe Acrobat Pro X for CONTENTdm display.
ARK ark:/87278/s62r5msc
Topic Outdoor recreation; Mountaineers; Rock climbing; Skis and skiing; Park rangers
Setname uum_elc
Date Created 2015-11-10
Date Modified 2015-11-10
ID 838314
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62r5msc
Back to Search Results