Rock'n Wall Survivors

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 5, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
Rock'n wall survivors, climbers who have pushed the limits of climbing to an extreme degree, but survived their climbs/not died when climbing. Their climbs seen as controversial or not. Post up the climbers you start thinking of when you hear the words "rock and wall survivors".


My first thought was Rene Desmaison. Here's his own words from the book 342 Hours on the Grandes Jorasses:

"It's so difficult to accept nothingness... You would like to know how things really are beyond life, be sure it's not all a big joke, but, as big as it may be, how can a joke survive for millenia? Look how beautiful are the stars in the coal black sky, those little twinkling gems, those little fantastic worlds. You've got Creation before your eyes, here, on this same mountain that's taking your life and you can't hate, not even now. And what if truth is really here, amongst these pyramids of granite?".

"Such was the commitment of this style of climbing and the unimaginable risks necessarily incurred that Ken Wilson, the editor of the English language editions of Desmaison's collected autobiographical works, rejected a simple translation of the rather prosaic original titles, instead rebranding the compendium as Total Alpinism (1982)"

"During the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, René Desmaison became one of the most famous of a coterie of élite French climbers who redefined alpinism, both in terms of technical difficulty and by raising its public profile. Indeed, when Desmaison appeared in Marcel Ichac's award-winning 1958 mountain docudrama Les Étoiles de Midi ("Stars of Noon"), some mistakenly took the film's title to be a subtle pun, for it effectively showcased the climbing talents of the metaphorical "stars" of the "Midi" (the celebrated mountain L'Aiguille du Midi which towers above the Chamonix valley).

At the time, British climbing was still undergoing a transition from an esoteric sport practised largely by maverick elements of the middle classes, while public perception of the activity remained fixated on quasi-military team efforts on Everest and similar lofty peaks. The French media, however, with more of a tradition of embracing fiercely individualistic feats of athletic endeavour, quickly took an interest in the activities of an emerging band of talented alpinists who pushed the extremes of mountaineering."


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/rene-desmaison-396013.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2014 - 04:01pm PT

The second climber I start thinking of, is Peter Croft.

A quote: "Royal Robbins, a leading climber of the previous generation, wrote about Croft and his climbing achievements in 2000: "Peter has been my hero for many years, ever since he came blazing out of nowhere with his stunning free solo ascent of Astroman on Washington Column in Yosemite. Tom Frost and I had made the second ascent of this route, mostly with direct aid in the early sixties. That one could climb this route without resorting to direct aid was impressive. To do it without a rope was astonishing. But such was Peter's level of mastery. That it was mastery, and not mere daring was proven by a string of free solos of similar stature, executed to perfection.""

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2014 - 04:25pm PT

And Reinhold Messner has got his Place

"Since the 1960s, and inspired by Hermann Buhl, he was one of the first and most enthusiastic supporters of alpine style mountaineering in the Himalayas, which consisted of climbing with very light equipment and a minimum of external help. Messner considered the usual expedition style ("siege tactics") disrespectful toward nature and mountains.

His first major Himalayan climb in 1970, the unclimbed Rupal face of Nanga Parbat, turned out to be a tragic success. Both he and his brother Günther Messner reached the summit, but Günther died two days later on the descent of the Diamir face. Reinhold lost six toes, which had become badly frostbitten during the climb and required amputation. Reinhold was severely criticized for persisting on this climb with less experienced Günther. The 2010 movie Nanga Parbat by Joseph Vilsmaier is based on his account of the events.

While Messner and Peter Habeler were noted for fast ascents in the Alps of the Eiger North Wall, standard route (10 hours) and Les Droites (8 hours), his 1975 Gasherbrum I first ascent of a new route took three days. This was unheard of at the time.

In the 1970s, Messner championed the cause for ascending Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen, saying that he would do it "by fair means" or not at all. In 1978, he reached the summit of Everest with Habeler. This was the first time anyone had been that high without bottled oxygen and Messner and Habeler proved what certain doctors, specialists, and mountaineers thought impossible. He repeated the feat, without Habeler, from the Tibetan side in 1980, during the monsoon season. This was Everest's first solo summit."

Wikipedia

snakefoot

climber
cali
Jan 5, 2014 - 04:33pm PT
superstars no doubt and without oxygen is proud, very proud.

..but regarding Messner and many others, brain damage will show its ugly head as time goes by and i would never encourage hypoxia for such prolonged times as these peaks demand

Marlow, i apologize for the thread drift, it just got me going..
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2014 - 04:40pm PT
Snakefoot

I understand your remarks very well. And that's why I said "their climbs controversial or not". But they are survivors, though not all of them without harm done to their health.
snakefoot

climber
cali
Jan 5, 2014 - 04:49pm PT
joe simpson comes to mind for this topic...but i am far removed from the alpine game
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Jan 5, 2014 - 04:53pm PT
While at the Jeff Lowe/Metanoia shindig last month I stood in a room full of Rock'n Wall Survivors. Jeff himself of course, Tom Hornbein, Malcolm Daly, John Roskelley and on and on...
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Jan 5, 2014 - 05:03pm PT
Almost every climber that's reached the 5.10 level (outdoors) or above has got at least one story.
snakefoot

climber
cali
Jan 5, 2014 - 05:22pm PT
KP, you are a survivor in my eyes.... we climbed together in the late eighties over at chapel wall with Blue-eyed steve...
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Jan 5, 2014 - 05:57pm PT
Thanks for the words snakefoot. Good times. It would be nice to do it again.
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Jan 5, 2014 - 06:11pm PT
These guys come to mind.


Peace
Johnny K.

climber
Jan 5, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
^^^ Respect.
bigbird

climber
WA
Jan 5, 2014 - 06:19pm PT
Jean-Christophe Lafaille

Annapurna 1991- cam blew out on a rappel killing his partner and forced him to down-climb with minimal gear. Survived, but a cat has only so many lives, he died trying to solo Makalu in winter in 2006.

Its a shame, he was such a talented climber

His route on the West Face of the Dru is still seldom repeated

http://vimeo.com/7704810
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Jan 5, 2014 - 08:16pm PT
^^^ Respect.

+1
Q- Ball

Mountain climber
where the wind always blows
Jan 5, 2014 - 08:34pm PT
Bob Skinner

He flew in a helicopter to pull Courtney, son Todd, and a few others off a winter Gannett ascent. The chopper was too heavy to get back off Dinwoody Glacier, so he hopped off and said I will see you in town! (with a chuckle). He showed up two days later!
bigbird

climber
WA
Jan 5, 2014 - 09:50pm PT
Henry Washburn and Robert Bates

Mount Lucania: First ascent 1937


After making the first ascent of Mt Lucania, they walked an estimated 156 miles to civilization, it took them something like 32 days to reach the nearest town.

Gnarly....

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
To dwell for a moment with Krzysztof Wielicki, Polish rock'n wall survivor.

Moosedrool wrote:

Krzysztof Wielicki in 1984 climbed Broad Peak (Falchan Kangri) in a day. Round trip from base at 4950m to the top at 8047m in 22h 10min. That's over 10,000 vertical feet!

“In the summer of 1984, Wojtek Kurtyka put me on. Together with Jurek Kukuczka, we were together on an expedition to Broad Peak (8047 m). We were climbing in order to adjust and Wojtek noticed that I'm walking very fast. I was always there 2-3 hours before the others. He said, since I'm moving so fast, maybe I could reach the summit in one day. So I gave it a try, at first in secret, at night. I reached 7200 m. It was foggy. I didn't see where I was, I got scared. You walk alone, without a rope, without fixed ropes marking the route, around a mountain crack. I withdrew. After a week I did it again. I headed off to the north. I managed to reach the summit in 16.5 hours and to walk back in less than 6 hours, so I made it in a day. This has been mentioned in the world press as a record”.

And from a Wielicki interview:

Q: You participated in 28 expeditions. Enumerate your accidents, please...

A: A rock avalanche shortened my spine at Bahirati II, in the mountains of Gharwal. It's a long story.

Q: How about snow avalanches?

A: The usual story. I was rushing down on three avalanches, once with Leszek Cichy on the slopes of K2. A shame. We were walking like donkeys, tied with a rope, after a big snowfall. We shouldn't have. One pulled the other, then the avalanche came down. Luckily, it spat us out in gentle terrain. Another time, I was flying alone at night on Gasherbrum II. That was a punishment, I wanted to run up silently, but the permit we had was only for the adjoining summit. I also fell into glacier cracks.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2014 - 09:50am PT
Voytek Kurtyka re-defined alpinism by bringing the alpine-style climbing to Himalaya.

"[] the first alpine-style ascent of the 1800-meter north face of Akher Chioh (7017m), a feature that has a startling resemblance to the concave shape of the Eiger Nordwand.

Since then, Voytek's climbing career has continued to demonstrate his singular ethos: "Mountaineering is a complex and unique way of life, interweaving elements of sport, art and mysticism." After establishing bold new routes in Afghanistan on massive walls of friable rock and toppling seracs, he traveled to Changabang (6864m) in India's Garhwal Himalaya in 1978. During his eight-day first ascent of the glistening, unclimbed Direct South Face, he understood what inspired him most: the creation of elegantly arching lines on steep, geometric blocks of rock and ice, with a small, committed team of friends.

On Nepal's Dhaulagiri (8167m), he stepped into another dimension of risk: alpine-style climbing on one of the world's highest peaks. Except for two or three pitches, his four-man team soloed the entire east face in 1980, mostly in snowfall and continual spindrift. Voytek has always been particular about his choices, including his selection of partners. In 1983, as he and Jerzy Kukuczka established new routes on Gasherbrums I and II (8068m; 8035m) in Pakistan, they became so in tune with each other that they hardly needed to talk. The next year, in only five days, they linked the north, central and main summits of Broad Peak, completing the first traverse of the mountain.

Voytek later spent weeks deciphering the traps and weaknesses of the unclimbed, 2500-meter Shining Wall of Gasherbrum IV (7925m). He concluded that the key to the puzzle was a huge couloir, right of center on the face. Although hazardous, this line bypassed some of the marble-like stone that had defeated previous parties. For eight days in 1985, he and Robert Schauer struggled through storms and avalanches, placing "psychological belays" in cruelly smooth rock and stopping just below the summit. Other alpinists still call the achievement "the climb of the century." Voytek counters: "Did anybody repeat GIV to confirm our illusion of it? Besides, does it make sense to declare a poem the poem of the century?"

Three years afterward, Voytek and Erhard Loretan became the first two-man team to climb a new route on Trango Tower (6239m). Voytek describes the twenty-nine pitches of gold granite as "a real piece of art, like dwelling inside a crystal." In 1990, in Nepal and Tibet, he ventured even deeper into the mystery he feels is essential to mountaineering. Within the space of six days, he climbed new routes on Cho Oyu (8188m) and Shishapangma (8046m), with Erhard and Jean Troillet. Voytek called their style "night-naked": a single push with just four candy bars, a water bottle, thirty meters of seven-millimeter rope and four pitons. They even left their harnesses behind. The adventures were a culmination of his quest for freedom in the highest mountains—transcendently light and fast. They were also Voytek's last major Himalayan ascents, though not the end of his climbing. At forty-six, in 1993, he free soloed a delicate and devious 5.13 sport route in the Polish Jura called the Chinski Maharadza."

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP43/43-64-view-from-the-wall-voytek-kurtyka

Posted by Moosedrool on the "define alpinism" thread.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 12, 2014 - 05:34pm PT
Since this is an epic thread...

Doug Scott crawling down the Ogre after breaking both legs in a fall from crampon strikes certainly qualifies. He didn't quit that sort of thing afterwards which is even more admirable.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2014 - 06:24am PT
Steve.

Here's the epic: Doug Scott - A Crawl Down the Ogre - Mountain 57, 1977.
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