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Jerry Dodgen - 1931-2011
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Dec 6, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
I'm sad to report the passing of Jerry Dodgen yesterday. A fixture of southern climbing for many years, Jerry lost a long struggle with prostate cancer. He was 80 years old.

Jerry was a life-long athlete, having also been a gymnast and hang glider. He came to climbing fairly late in life, starting when he was 58. When I met him, he was in his 70s and leading 5.10 trad lines; as late as last winter, he was still making the long hike up to T-Wall, though he was no longer leading. He never gave up -- his last climbing trip was just three weeks ago.

Being a late-starting old geezer myself, Jerry was one of my early inspirations. I hope I can keep at it as long as he did. Rest in peace, JD.


PS -- Check out this profile of Jerry on John Gill's website.
From Decatur, GA
Joined Nov 14, 2006
4,542 points
Dec 6, 2011
Wow, so sorry to hear that! Thanks for posting the announcement. I live in CO and wouldn't have heard about it otherwise.

I worked for Jerry as an instructor at the Challenge climbing school back in '95-'96. We ran many courses together, but also spent many days just climbing (no clients). I always enjoyed hanging out with him. He always seemed to be having so much fun.

I have many fond memories from Rocktown and T-wall, among others. Also, I remember getting to put up a new 2-pitch line with him and Rob Slaughter at Jerry's property. Jerry purchased a piece of that classic Tenessee sandstone cliffline near Chattanooga. Can't remember where it was anymore, but it was a great day of climbing with two good friends.

We'll miss you Jerry!

Unfortunately, all my pictures from that era are in my storage unit. I'll post some later.
Rich Farnham
Joined Aug 21, 2002
344 points

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