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best all around climber in the world
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Mar 29, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013
Another vote for Tommy Caldwell. More hard grade VI free routes than anyone, sport climbs 5.15, boulders extremely hard, and all while missing his distal index finger. Rock on! Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Joined Dec 30, 2006
3,997 points
Mar 29, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Me!
anyone who's out there having a good time, meeting cool people, taking in the great scenery, whether they climb 5.4 or 5.14d. Paul Shultz
From Hudson, Ma
Joined Jan 9, 2009
523 points
Mar 29, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE&qu...
Paul,

You nailed it, although there are some purists out there who will disagree.

For you science fiction buffs (I enjoy pure science fiction myself):

For the record, a mutant is the product of mutation. Mutation is a significant and basic alteration. In science, it is a relatively permanant change in hereditary material involving either a physical change in chromosome relations or a biochemical change in the codons that make up genes. It is part of Darwin's elegant theory of evolution, which included mutation and natural selection.

Humans have almost completely stopped mutating, certainly in any significant way that influences natural selection.

Crap my soapbox just busted.
Lee Smith
Joined Sep 5, 2003
1,686 points
Mar 29, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Figuring out the beta on The Alchemist
Russell Holcomb wrote:
Jeez, you people on this site can be ridiculous. Do you sit around and wait for someone to post something that you deem controversial or politically incorrect so you can make a comment? What's up with you guys from Plymouth? Are you the PC police all of a sudden? Technically, in a science fiction analogy, a mutant is someone who starts off as human then becomes something else...not necessarily sub human. More likely super human. Whether by being immersed in radioactive toxic waste or by years of hard work. You people take things a bit too seriously when you start to nit pick about word choice. Relax. Jonny Copp is one of my best friends and I would never demean him in any way.


Russell Holcomb... what pointed out in a different forum i found to be rude. with that said what me and David (a good friend of mine who i know wouldn't talk down to anyone just noticed something and commented on it) said was just discussion and from it stemmed some cool replies. that's all that was.

climbing is fun and from varying viewpoints comes various opinions just because someone view point is different doesn't make it wrong, its just discussion. lets all just have fun on this site, cause i think that's what were are all trying to do
matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Joined Nov 20, 2008
9,125 points
May 15, 2009
C'mon, no one repin' the Europeans? You got Nico Favresse out there goin' APESHIT, with repeats on the Cobra Crack (after 15 tries total) and the first repeat of Greenspit in Italy. He's also got some first ascents on El Cap and some more big wall and alpine routes in Patagonia and Canada.

Then there's Tony Lamiche who repeated The Fly at V14 and is also an avid Alpine and Ice climber goin' all crazy on Chamonix.

Dean Potter is also pretty intense with some fwakin' (brooklyn accent) hard ascents in Patagonia, Moab, Yosemite and other places.

But who gives a shit about these guys? The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun! (Alex Lowe). So when you're out there, remember just to get your smile on an' do work!
John Kearney
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 27, 2009
4 points
May 15, 2009
Lee Smith wrote:
Humans have almost completely stopped mutating . . .

Why do you think humans have almost completely stopped mutating?
Actually I bet with adding more weird chemicals into the environment and maybe destroying the ozone layer, people would be mutating more than ever. I don't really know much about biology or mutations, it's just that I've never heard anyone contend that humans are mutating at a slower rate than they used to. Also, with more humans on the planet than ever before, there are going to be more mutations -> more mutants.

On your point re: natural selection, I don't agree either, but that's a pretty different point and not one I feel like getting in to, except to say: do you think the number of kids people have is purely random? If not, what factors would influence that?
pfwein
From Boulder, CO
Joined May 7, 2006
91 points
May 15, 2009
Lee Smith wrote:
Humans have almost completely stopped mutating, certainly in any significant way that influences natural selection.


I thought much recent research was actually showing the opposite, that human evolution and mutations have accelerated in the past 10 thousand years. pnas.org/content/104/52/20753

And of course the best climber is the one having the most fun...
Bryan Gall
From New Castle, CO
Joined Sep 15, 2002
297 points
May 15, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE&qu...
I think if I say it backwards it might be more accurate. Because humans have been taken out of natural selection, the necessity of mutation has been lowered. For example, I am nearsighted. If I were in a natural state I would have far less chance of reaching reproductive age since I wouldn't be able to see predators approaching. But we do not live in a natural state. I have corrective lenses and our technology keeps the predators at bay. So I am still capable of adding to the gene pool.

I realize that this is a simplistic analogy, but we humans are NOT subject to the laws of the natural world like our ancestors (think australopithecus)were.
Lee Smith
Joined Sep 5, 2003
1,686 points
May 15, 2009
As the research goes, the idea is with the larger population of humanity, the greater chance/ opportunity for mutation/ genetic drift. Since there is more of us, there is more mutation. Also, while we might think we're "outside" of the natural world, we are not. In fact the changes of environment in the last 40-10 k years has pushed a greater drive for adaptation. We are still hunter gatherers trying to adjust to a sedentary agricultural lifestyle. Look at one of the largest adaptation that is still effecting human populations: lactose tolerance past childhood. This is but one example of changes taking place in the human genome.

God damn, I really need to climb more...did I just say all that crap?
Bryan Gall
From New Castle, CO
Joined Sep 15, 2002
297 points
May 16, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE&qu...
Bryan,

I still maintain that technology has taken us out of the natural world. The human population has exploded far beyond what would occur if not for modern technology. For example, I personally wouldn't be alive if not for small-pox vaccine. The fact that I made it to reproductive age and beyond is a function of our removal from the natural world.

I agree that the human genome is still mutating. But it isn't being driven by "natural" selection. If it was, the population would be in a far more equitable balance with environment v. sustainability.

I have climbed 5 of the last 7 days, but I need to get out more.
Lee Smith
Joined Sep 5, 2003
1,686 points
May 16, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: avitar pic
How many of the people listed send hard aid? I think that's a part of being an all around climber too. If you can't aid climb well I think that would take you out of the running of being one of the best all around climbers.

For instance Tommy C, took a more experienced aid climber with his group into the Grand Canyon. From what I understand he used this person (was it Chris Klous?) to set up the rope so he could work on freeing a hard aid line. Sure he freed a hard aid line, but it only went at 5.11R and he had to have someone else set up the rope so he could figure the moves out.(not to say it's not a big accomplishment, but it takes away from being the best all arounder IMO).

I recently read that Dean Potter made a speed ascent on the reticent wall (A5) although Ammon McNeely(F'in bad ass) was on the team and I'm guessing he sent the cruxes.

How many bad ass free climbers have equal aid skills to match? (5.14 free climbing and A5 aid) Any?

Let's not forget who paved the way for modern free climbers and incorperate their style into what is a debate requarding who is the best all around "CLIMBER". I mean really there is only 2 types of climbing FREE and AID (sport, trad, bouldering, ice, alpine, mixed pretty much all stem from free). Seems only half the picture is being represented.
Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
Joined Jul 31, 2005
3,609 points
May 20, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: The Black Tower. Palisade.CO FA Paul Ross Layne Po...
Aaron Formella wrote:
Dave Birkett...he has sent numerous unrepeated climbs and he has made what is considered to be the hardest traditional 'on-sight' ascent in the world at Dove Crag: the aptly named 'Fear of Failure' (E8 6c). On-sight ability is a great measure of one's true rock-climbing ability since circumstances that are novel to the climber are encountered such as moves, mental challenges, and strategy. Also, since many of his climbs have been unrepeated, and their rating is based solely on his opinion...there's a possibility that they may actually be harder.

I have climbed with Dave I know he does top rope many of these dangerous routes before he leads them. As far as considering Sport climbing as a measure of all round climbing ability I think that is stretching it a bit..
USBRIT
From Keswick Cumbria.UK
Joined Apr 9, 2001
19,817 points
May 20, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
I would think that the best all-around climber would not have to be the best at any one style, but would be world class at all. There are many that might fit this bill, and I will plead ignorance of the names of all the new hardmen in Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia etc. That being said, my votes for the people I'm aware of are:

Old School - Jeff Lowe/Layton Kor
New School - Johnny Copp

update - After reading one of the new news accounts, I'm also including Ueli Steck. I'd forgotten his name, but he seems to be one of the premier all-around climbers in the world today.
YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Joined Aug 7, 2003
940 points
Administrator
May 20, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i'm pretty sure tommy caldwell is a somewhat competent aid climber. i think chris mac went with them because they are friends, they headed up a wall for a good time, and then it seemed free-able so tommy lead it free.

he gets my vote. nose and freerider in a day? patagonia big stuff? the most el cap walls? hard sport routes (has anybody ever sent lex luthor for a 2nd ascent?)?

seems like a pretty nice guy too.
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,144 points
May 20, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wal...
Not sure about the current crop, but from a recent era, my money's on Jim Bridwell. He was at the cutting edge of Yosemite free and aid climbing, and managed some big stuff in Alaska as well. Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
325 points
May 20, 2009
None of you have a clue. The fact that this thread has gone two full pages with no mention of Peter Croft is pure blasphemy. Croft has it, hands down. JML
Joined May 3, 2009
37 points
May 20, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wal...
JML wrote:
None of you have a clue. The fact that this thread has gone two full pages with no mention of Peter Croft is pure blasphemy. Croft has it, hands down.

Huh? Hard man? Check. Stud? Check. Firm mind and sh*t together? Check. But I'm not aware of his exploits beyond amazing free soloing. What makes him all-around?

Great vintage photos in your other thread, by the way.
Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
325 points
May 20, 2009
Come on, he's Peter Croft, what other justification do you need?


I don't really take threads like this seriously though. I think Croft is the best climber around but that is just my opinion and we all know what opinions are like. :)

Thanks for the kudos on the historical photos. I'll pass along the comments to dad.

Did you see this photo from Sunday?(I posted it on the Kor thread). In his day, he would have gotten my vote.

JML
Joined May 3, 2009
37 points
May 21, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on Half Dome Boulder, Middle Finger of Fury  Aw...
Ueli Steck,

all this uelisteck.ch/index.php?id=28,0...

and more
plus...

climbing.com/news/hotflashes/o...
JacobD
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Jun 18, 2006
836 points
Jan 10, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Sterling.
Tommy Caldwell is best "all-around" climber. Andrew Fest
Joined Nov 24, 2015
5 points
Jan 10, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
Climbing friend,

Me.
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
139 points
Jan 10, 2016
Kor still gets my vote. And Croft, too. Aside from the crazy solos - not so crazy, if you've ever listened to him - there's Excellent Adventure. No aid, though, so back to Bridwell and Kor. Lynn Evenson
Joined Jun 23, 2015
1 points
Jan 10, 2016
Lynn Hill,
Still The master Rock climber
& has been one of the top rock climbers, consistently for 40+ yrs!
She will be the un-challenged best, IMHO,
until some one masters all aspects of rock-climbing
For the same length of time, and Motherhood too.

On paper still living - FRED BECKEY

A Vast # criteria & variables, would be needed to award a " BEST" to a Dead climber IMHO

As the Stu Richie post below points out the best climbers
are the climbers who never stop climbing . . . .
Michael Schneider
Joined Apr 24, 2014
315 points
Jan 10, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Desert Tortoise
Tucker Tec! Stu Ritchie
From Denver
Joined Dec 4, 2007
1,769 points
Jan 10, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Rock
Tommy Caldwell cheated though he cut off a finger to save weight while climbing. ViperScale
Joined Dec 22, 2013
191 points


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