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Chris Baxter Passes

2:42:28 PM

It is with great sorrow that we mourn the death of Chris Baxter. He passed away in hospital late yesterday afternoon. Chris was a life member of the VCC and a very vocal promoter of climbing in Australia, in particular in Victoria. He will be missed.

His funeral will be at St Jude's Church in Carlton at 11am this Thursday.

3:21:30 PM
This news comes to me as a bit of a shock, as his apparent recovery from being very sick a while back lulled me into a sense of complacency.
Vale CB.
His contribution to Australian climbing was the stuff that legends will be made from.
My condolences go to his family and friends.

4:52:28 PM
Hardworking, endlessly enthusiastic and not afraid to tell it like it was, Chris was a foundation member of the Oz climbing community. His dedication for exploration in our mountains is seen in almost any guidebook. Although we never really hit it off due to a few differences of opinion, Chris was a real inspiration to me in many ways. His publishing and environmental work is a great gift to our climbing community. RIP Chris.
4:58:45 PM
I do not think NPWS would think his publishing was always a great gift, re; the story of bushwalkers going all out to visit 'Jurassic' canyon (when the public was warned off), containing the original stand of Wollemi pines. If he was not afraid to tell it like it was, how come that story was the only one ever published in Wild without an authors name?
5:13:48 PM
On 1/03/2010 Wollemi wrote:
>I do not think NPWS would think his publishing was always a great gift

Wollemi, the list of Chris's foibles and disagreements is long. This doesn't take away from the enormous contribution his publishing, new routing and enthusiasm made to Victorian climbing over the decades.

Although few of us might choose the way Chris went about getting things done, you can't argue with the fact that he worked hard to leave a strong, significant legacy and in many ways Victorian climbing has been made the better for it.

5:33:50 PM
I agree, k - and your words appear quite noble, as were Chris Baxter's publications in the main. They have certainly assisted me to stay comfortable, safe and knowledgeable when rock-climbing, bushwalking and kayak touring, Australia-wide and further afield.

The good Dr
7:06:28 PM
My condolences to his family and friends. Australian climbing is richer for his significant contributions to its history and growth. He was always enthusiastic and his love for the sport was clearly evident. Chris established some great climbs and through guides, magazines and publishing in general has inspired many people to take up the sport. He took the time and effort to be involved and I respected that.

I always found him enthusiastic and friendly, and talking to him at the gym during his illness was inspiring as his will to climb and participate was still strong.


7:13:48 PM
Very sad to hear this news. A passing of an Australian Climbing Icon.

9:21:27 PM
Apart from being one of the main pioneers of the sport both on the sharp end and in the community through Rock and Wild, he was one of the most decent human beings on the scene
The current climbing community stands on the shoulders of its predecessors of which Chris was a giant.
Vale CB, a strongman and a legend.
11:57:09 PM
I was taught to climb by Chris and in the days of Cardinals and Foxes at Arapiles. At the age of 8 I knew he was clearly the charismatic leader of this sport. My father became president of the VCC , my brothers probably put up more new routes (Nic and Matt Taylor) but nobody had more impact than Chris. He changed the world and we all still benefit from his vision and generosity. I'll be bringing Dad to St Judes on Thursday and Nic is in USA so I'll represent his respect but from all of the Taylor family - we miss you, we love you and we will never forget you. Passing another Fox again, we'll see you Chris.
8:01:16 AM
He was an energetic and inquisitive climber who loved the outdoors from an early age. He loved exploring as much as he loved climbing, developed many areas, and made the first ascents of literally thousands of routes, he was certainly Australiaís most prolific climber. If you have climbed anywhere in Victoria, you have climbed in his footsteps. His climbing career spanned 5 decades; even after recovering from a near fatal brush with cancer 5 years ago, he was still sneaking out and doing new routes in his beloved Grampians.

He loved jokes, gossip, and deflating egos (particularly mine) without any hint of ill-will. I always thought of him as close family and will miss him immensely.

8:57:06 AM
Very sad to hear this, others have summed up his massive impact on climbing as a whole, and also his positive personal impact on hundreds of people.
Fish Boy
10:19:47 AM

10:34:09 AM
My condolences to Chris' family.

The question on everybody's lips however, is: will the graffiti at the base of Castle Crag continue to be refreshed??
10:45:12 AM
I was 15 when I started climbing and Chris Baxter was one of my heroes. In 1982 we travelled to England together as guests of the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) for the Buxton Conference. We stayed in a small hotel with the likes of Don Whillans, Chris Bonnington and Alan Rouse. Chris was in his element. He was to deliver one of the keynote talks (using mainly my photographs) on the subject of Australian climbing. At the opening of his talk he introduced himself to his attentive audience with the comment that he was 'especially well-known among Australian climbers and enjoyed a certain notoriety'. The very first image that then flashed up on the screen was of the base of Undertaker and the famous chiseled words 'Baxter is a Shit'. The entire audience broke up laughing and Chris was grinning from ear to ear. No doubt Chris both loved and hated that piece of graffiti. And while it's also true that his skin was as thick as it was prickly, Chris could be amazingly gentle and sensitive. Over the years we climbed a lot together. We laughed a lot and we also argued a lot. He was both was my mentor and my tormentor. I'll miss him.
10:59:36 AM
On 2/03/2010 pmonks wrote:
>My condolences to Chris' family.
>The question on everybody's lips however, is: will the graffiti at the
>base of Castle Crag continue to be refreshed??

"Chris Baxter is was a..."
11:24:31 AM
Sad news indeed.

11:56:15 AM
Sad news.
However people certainly had divided opinions about him.
I remember when some of the climbers i hung out with used to say "Chris Baxter f....s. dead sheep!" So much so that when ever i read or hear his name the full saying goes through my head.
A little like the lines in response to the Angels song "no way, get f....d, f...k off
2:19:12 PM
I first met Chris in 1965 when I was 9. I didnít know who he was. We were at a picnic at Hanging Rock (yes, really) and had gone off to DO rockclimbing. Chris and a couple of other blokes were climbing some cliff next to the walking path. They were using little ladders hanging from the rock. We were in such awe of Real Climbers doing It Properly that we hid the 15 ft piece of hemp rope we had borrowed from my Dadís workshop under our jumpers. I think we bugged them a bit much with our questions, and, yes, it was the wrong rope to be taking climbing.
Years later we met at Buffalo, Arapiles, the odd VCC meeting when I spent time in Melbourne, various times and places over the years. Chris was always welcoming; even over the phone after ages of absence; had a few stories to tell, interested in what we were up to and had a great sense of fun. Not just a prolific climber; Chris had a great gift of invective and a superb memory for people and faces and what everyone was doing. Great guy!

3:04:20 PM
Very sad news. I didn't always see eye to eye with Chris, but I had the greatest of respect for him and enjoyed climbing with him. Certainly a giant among Australia's climbers.


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