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Most Influential Climbers

11:44:10 PM
heres a question for you people....

Who do you think are the most influential climbers? Climbers who have changed things for everyone, broken into new ground... You get the idea.
I mean, theres climbers on a world level who have changed the scene a great deal for climbers everywhere and theres also the prolific local developers and pioneers that changed climbing forever in australia.

My history aint that good, but for me, Wolfgang Gullich would have to be up there on a world scale, he has achieved so much.

As for aussies who have changed things, thers too many to count.... Pioneers like Tepest, Claw, Noddy, HB, Ewbank, Moorhead, chris Piesker, Kimbo, Baxter, Lindorff, they all played a part in developing australias climbing culture into what it is today.

For me, its hard to pick just 'one' person who was most influential, i was just wondering what everyone else thought????

8:56:32 AM
Steve Monks is resposible for some of Australias greatest routes...

Free climb Ozy (29) at Buffalo, first ascent Totem Pole (25), Free ascent Seventh Bannana (27) at Taipan, All the classics at Eureka wall in the Grampians.

11:00:05 AM
Dunno about Baxter, he just tagged along on everything didn't he ?

My "all time top 5" most influential Australian (rock) climbers in order are:
. Carrigan
. HB
. Claw
. Chris Shephard
. Moorhead

Apologies to Kevin Lindorff, Chris Dewhirst, Noddy Lockwood, Steve Monks and John Muir, amongst many others. Henry Barber only missed out because he 's not Australian.

World climbing:
. Gullich (4 grade advances speaks for itself - first 31, 32, 33 and 35), revolutionised sport climbing but did hardcore stuff too ...
. All those gnarly Yosemite dudes back in the 60's and 70's who revolutionised the sport.

11:02:04 AM
pat, that's funny

11:56:43 AM
I'm reading 'influential' as meaning the climber who had the most impact on the direction and development of climbing in Oz. I can't comment about too much about the other states, but the climber I would pick in Victoria as the most influential would have to be Glen Tempest. Why?

1. Responsible for innumerable Araps classics, including the classic of all classics - Kachoong;
2. Did an enormous amount to open up the Grampians and to wake people up to the incredible potential therein. Almost every crag in the Gramps has a Tempest classic on it;
3. Was probably the first person in Vic to embrace the sport climbing ethic, with his development of places like The Gallery;
4. Through his photography, continued to bring exposure and notice to Victorian climbs and climbers;
5. With Simey, revolutionised the quality and standard of guidebooks in Vic.

Not a bad set of achievements if you ask me.

Again, in Victorian terms only, the next most influential would probably have to be HB. If for no other reason than he has consistently shown that he has the vision to attempt the things that no-one else thought possible. The most impressive lines at the most impressive crags are invariably his. And all done in an absolutely unimpeachable ethical style.

My 10 cents,


12:06:55 PM
Most of the climbers already named in this topic are probably more inspirational rather than influential.

Influential climbers need not necessarily be the hardest or best, but those who have influenced the way in which climbing has been portayed to others over the years. Personally I think writers of climbing literature have been really influential - There aren't many in Australia that fit into this category. Maybe Claw would, if he ever gets round to writing a book. Andrew Linblade fits into this category as does Creg Child. I'd like to suggest Chris Baxter, but as noted previously he's probably a follower rather than an influencer - his Rock editorials can be hard going and laboured at times. Overseas writers fare better. Tom Patey , Ian McNaught Davies, Jim Perrin - read his book Yes To Dance, even Chris Bonnington, although he tends to lapse into fits of self gratuitous prose that can last for entire chapters in his books.

Donut King
5:48:17 PM
HB has done a heap of stuff, lots aof new scholl stuff as well looking at Demon Flower and the likes.

Plus his "style" of ascents as well, they guy is still really streets ahead. Serpentine, Nicouragua etc
his efforts in developing Taipan wall are amazing as those who have climbed on it will know.

He's even doen soem some good stuff in SA, but iguess Mike Law has, even though he busted his ankles soling a local crag!

peace out.
8:14:27 PM
Ben Cossey and Rowan Druce are by far the most influential climbers today. Their extraordinary talent and strength go beyond the expectations of all who have witnessed their amazing style at the crag.

8:55:34 PM
if your talking about strength i reckon Zac Vertrees needs a mention


2:48:44 AM
Oh Yeah. Zac is the Incredible Hulk.
5:47:43 PM
What about some of the others species of climbers? Mostly overseas I'm afraid...
John Gill : Theoretical mathematician and the inventor of bouldering (many think)
Alex Lowe : Possibly the strongest climber (on anything!) ever... And the most enthusiastic? "The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun"
Mark Twight : Read "Extreme Alpinism" and find out who took alpine climbing where...
Hermann Buhl : Nanga Parbat SOLO...
John Long, Jim Bridwell, Billy Westbay : How to do Big Walls - FAST
John Muir : The American one (sorry); Invented the concept of the National Park.
Don Whillans : Combined Climbing and Drinking successfully
Lynne Hill : Showed that climbing is a place where women can kick our manly arses.

6:14:05 PM
HB hands down...the man's a quiet machine, just quietly climbing, have to love that in this day and age of self promotion and bullshit talking.

Bob Cowan has also been a personal 'hero' of mine, basically taught me how not to kill myself and got me into new routing.
9:18:12 AM

Bouldering - John Gill the first person to realize bouldering is it's own sport and worth training for.

Sport - Wolfgang Gullich - at the forefront of difficulty for many years, Action Directe a testimony to that being ascended in 1991 and still the benchmark for 9a. Also brought hard climbing into the mountains with Riders on the Storm Paine tower Patagonia.

Mountaineering - Tenzing Norgay for hauling Hillary up everest 50 years ago.

Modern alpine - Tomo Cesen for his solo up the South Face of Lhotse

Trad - Choinard for his design of protection.

10:24:48 AM

Agree that Tomo Cesen's solo of S face of Lhotse is surely the most remarkable alpine achievement, however is it influential ? Everyone else is too scared to repeat stuff like this ...

Hillary did lead the (crux) Hillary Steppe, but yes Norgay was outstanding, especially after watching the feature on Channel 2 on Wednesday night where it was revealed (to me) that it was Norgay's 8th time on the mountain and that the British knew that they couldn't do it without him. He nearly summitted with the Swiss dudes the year before. Why does Hillary get all the credit ? Again though, I dunno if he was influential.

These first two I've listed of yours were impressive, your other three were influential in that they changed or where at the forefront of a change in the way climbing was done.
11:43:22 AM
Tomo Cesen - bringing alpine style on bigger peaks rather than sherpa's and hauling. Fast and light rather than attepting to beat the peak into submission.

Tensing Norgay - for climbing the worlds tallest mountain. The media coverage this ascent created put mountaining into the general populations consciousness.

4:16:42 PM
I just finished reading 'High Adventure' by Hillary and the book portrays an incredible journey. Very inspiring stuff.

4:48:12 PM
On 6/06/2003 Hardware wrote:
>I just finished reading 'High Adventure' by Hillary

Sounds good. How about a review?
10:35:38 PM
Voytek Kurtyka, for alpine aproach to Himalayan climbing culminating in the west face of Gasherbrum IV.
12:48:37 PM
The biggest influnces for most climbers will have been the people that invented/devised/refined the gear that we all use. So I'd put Chouinard (and the pixies who sweated over the forges in The Great Pacific Ironworks foundry) up there at the top. He was mainly responsible for the adoption of the chrome-moly piton revolution, which was followed by his passive jammed nut protection. The use of his Stoppers and Hexentrics enabled people like Henry Barber (also on the list) to refine the 'clean climbing' ethic which blew Oz climbing away in the '70s. I'd probably put Ewbank in the list as well, his 'Crackers' enabled the piton hammer to remain in the pack for a lot of Oz climbers ('though some still carried the hammer to 'seat' them into cracks better - hmm, a non-passive passive device). Jardine gets a mention for the first of the SLCDs, aka Friends.

Then I think it is onto the climbers who had an effect on Oz climbing through their climbing and I'd say it has to do with quality, difficulty and quantity. That of course means that it is people like Carrigan, Law, Tempest and rules out others like HB (not prolific enough), Melon (not discerning enough) and many others who have made a brief impact.

12:56:11 PM
HB.... Not prolific enough.....

Jeez, what does a guy have to do to get some recognition. Just because he didnt chase the fame like carigan, dosnt make him any less prolific, you just have to look at his list of noteable F.A's and repeats. Hard trad and sport, hes done it all........

I think H is a very inspirational character, and im not the only one. I can count numerous others who think the same.....

C'mon, seriously, HB is the founder of steep climbing in aus, you can find one of his creations at almost any peice of steepness in the gramps.....

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There are 23 messages in this topic.


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