American Sport Climbing pioneers


Original Post
s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Yesterday a friend and I were having lunch halfway through a beautiful day of XC skiing. We have climbed together for over 30 years and the conversation turned to the early days of sport climbing here in America.

Alan Watts, Scott Franklin, Dale Goddard, Jim Karn, Christian Griffith, Colin Lantz, Bob D Antonio were tossed around. And a few I know I am missing right now.

Anyone know where life has taken these people? We agreed they were all a big influence on us both.

Hank Caylor could be on that list as well but we know what he has been up to.

R. Moran · · Moab , UT · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 140

Tony Yaniro, Kurt Smith

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

And Cosgrove (though he was conflicted). Boone Speed.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

There is a good article in the most recent Rock & Ice magazine about the late Scott Cosgrove

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Both were mentioned. Mike Pont as well. The list is a lot longer these are just a few that came to mind today.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Boone and Scott were also on the list but we know where life has taken them.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

...and don't forget Robyn Erbersfield, Lynn Hill, Bobbi Bensman and Mia Axon.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Allison Osius as well. Our conversation was more about those who were bolting new lines.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Then I'm thinking Jimmy Surette, Don Welsh, Squib...there are so many :-/. How about Matt Samett

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Porter Jarrod put up a lot of the old classics in the Red, so I'd count him among the list.

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,267

Seems a bit sexist not to mention Lynn Hiil, Bobbi Bensman, Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou. What about Ron Kauk, Todd Skinner, Paul Piana, and RANDY LEAVITT.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Seems wrong to not really read through the thread before throwing out the sexist card.

I realize to many who participate on the forums here this will be a new concept
but a thread is usually more than its title and should be read before regurgitating the first thought that pops into your head.

While these women were all present and climbing they were not really establishing new lines in the late 80's.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Amy Whistler! Now we have one of the fairer sex who bolted stuff. :-)

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348
the schmuck wrote:Amy Whistler! Now we have one of the fairer sex who bolted stuff. :-)
Good one.
Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 95

Let's not forget some of the local talent that really help develop the sport by embracing the bolt ethic and put up a ton of routes. Mark Rolofson, Richard Wright, Allen Nelson, Daryl Roth, Bob Horan and many others in the front range. These guys really opened the door for sport climbing in the front range. They also climbed really hard for the era.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

Awesome thread. It must have been exciting back in the 70's-80's to see the climbing really ramp up with bolted lines.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Pioneers ? Alan Watts and Todd Skinner both started in 82/83, most everyone else came after that

Dave McRae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 655

Alan Watts still climbs at Smith Rock occasionally. While injuries forced him to greatly dial back his climbing, he has established new routes in every decade since the '80's. Rumor has it that he's working on a new guidebook for Smith. This has lead him to seek out many of the new routes that have been recently established at Smith Rock. After lamenting how badly he sucks at climbing these days, he promptly flashed one of my new 5.11's with no warm up.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Thanks Dave.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640
Russ Keane wrote:Awesome thread. It must have been exciting back in the 70's-80's to see the climbing really ramp up with bolted lines.
Well, not to some of us
Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

^^^^ True, John! I've been on some of your NH slab routes that were done SANS-BOLTS, and then were bolted later.

How many times did you lead with a drill, though? Wondering.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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