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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The most influencial ice climbers to date?

This is a question that came up between a few of us last weekend at the Bozeman Ice Fest that I think deserves some consideration.

I am looking for YOUR personal list of the most influential ice climbers in North America and on the world scene alive or dead?

Send me your list or comments and I'll post them in the comments section of this post.

Here is my short list for no specific order past still alive and kicking for the moment.

Yvon Chouinard, Jeff Lowe, John Bouchard, Steve Shea, Duncan Ferguson, Mark Twight, Jeff Marshall, Will Gadd, Joe Josephson, and Henry Barber.

Their are some obvious climbers missing above that have died in the past 50 years.

My international list would start with Jimmy Roberts, Robin Smith, Cunningham, March, Haston and continue to Nomine, Cecchinel, Jager  etc...but what is YOUR list?

Here is mine from another forum;

I am obviously influenced by the Canadian and NW experience. Names might be different if I lived in Colorado, the east coast or California.

These are the guys that influenced me.

Callis is on my short list as well and Jim Kanzler. Jeff Lowe......pretty obvious he changed ice and mixed more than anyone before or since. Greg Lowe, Mike Weiss, Charlie Fowler.

Chouinard? Doug Robinson? They are bed rock foundation of our sport for most of us.

John Bouchard...from his climbs in the Alps, the Black Dike and the Wild Things "motto". Pays to remember that Twight, Rackliff, Belcourt all came out of the Wild Things shop at one time or another. There was a mental melting pot that had some scary results...

Henry Barber (who needs leashes?) and Rob Taylor..... FMR :) I think Barber's ice climbing is too easily forgotten. Those guys rocked.

"Most of the Canadians mentioned so far (including honorary Canadian JoJo) would likely agree that one of people who influenced them was John Lauchlan. You yankees probably never heard of him though."

I worked with John the year previous to his death. Actually 4 Americans living in Canada bitd that I knew of..Jojo being one of the later. Carlos Buhler snagged some ripe winter plumbs, Super Coulior, Temple and Kitchener while he was there. Gregg Cronn was there as well. Only John and a few of his friends like Jim Elzinga had that kind of drive in winter. Jerry Rogan. Other Americans doing the smash and grab, Tobin, Jack Roberts, Ducan Ferguson, Roskelly, Randy Rackliff, Twight, Jay Smith, Craig Reason.

I know I'll leave some one off who really deseves the credit, so my apologies to both sides of the border :)

Locals with John L.? In no particular order but John himself would tell you they were all amazing (ice) climbers, Albi Sole, James Blench, Dwayne Congdon, Dave McNab, the "kids", jeff Marshal, ward Robinson, Blanchard and Doyle. Ray Jotterand and Laurie Skreslet need to be here. Bruce Hendricks (and his list of "are you shitting me!" climbs), Jojo and of course and Will and Guy. The Burgess Twins, Porter and Bugs have to be mentioned from my experience.

Newsome, Klewin, the twins, Pat and Dan...and Bibler. Some amazing ice climb they finally put up! Mugs of course...and Bridwell.

Even having met many of these climbing was influenced more by their writing than even being lucky enough to climb with some of them.


grant said...

I like your list but I think it's a pretty glaring oversight to leave Guy Lacelle off. Is there a reason?

Dane said...

As I said originally in the post..."the ones still alive".

Likely more dead on a complete list than are still alive.

Guy, Tobin, Bugs, Mugs and John L. are obvious candidates if you want to include those not around. And that short list is with out even thinking about it.

Unknown said...

Armand Charlet, Willo Welzenbach, Giancarlo Grassi

Anonymous said...

Diamond Dave Marra might fit in there for the late 90's/ 2000's

Anonymous said...

I think Jeff Lowe would sit right on top, on his own, everyone else listed below.
Sure Chouinard brought euro technology to this country, and modified/created new gear for new uses etc., but Lowe not only created entirely new lines of gear, (tools,tube picks/pitons/screws, clothing types/soft shells) but he was also a Bad Ass as a climber. I mean really: Moonlight Buttress,Bridalveil Falls, Bird Brain, Ama Dablam, and never mind Latok, which was completely off the hook. He additionally was probably the all time greatest ambassador and proponent of the sport. He has shared that passion with thousands of climbers, through his landmark ice climbing technique books and videos, and countless appearances at Ice Fests.
In my mind, Jeff and Ice Climbing are one and the same, more than anyone else.

inferno said...

thinking small picture and parochially
Bruce Kay
Don Serl
Drew Brayshaw

For the Rockies I would add Tim Auger who climbed WI4 without artificial aid (stirrups and umbilicals) in 1972 as far as I know (Bourgeau Left?)

Dave Thomson was a force and is sadly no longer around.

Anonymous said...

How about Ben Firth for living, influential ice climbers?

Cosmin Andron said...

If "influential" on the US scene then Jeff Lowe and YC for sure.

If great and still around, here are some Euros (non comp) that I would mention:

Andy Parkin (commitment, vision, ability)
Patrick Gabarrou (vision and ability)
François Marsigny (ability)
Ueli Steck (ability, vision)

if comp. included: Ines Papert

There are more for sure, but these three names come first in mind.


Anonymous said...

How about Barry Blanchard? Todd Cozzens? Stan Price? Aaron Mulkey? Steve House? Also, on your dead list you would have to include Alex Lowe.

Anonymous said...

Raphael Slawinski? Eamonn Walsh? Sean Isaac? Where the Canadians at!?