Roland Pauligk RIP


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Alan Rubin

Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 24, 2017 - 11:15am PT
I saw on both UK and Australian sites that Roland Pauligk passed away on Jan. 22 of cancer at age 79. Pauligk emigrated from Germaany to Australia and became a major force in Australian climbing. particularly in the 1970s-80s. He is best known as the inventor of the eponymous RP brass micronuts--which were true 'game changers' at the time of their invention. They were created for the numerous very thin placements at Mount Araplies but have since proven their worth on many bold trad routes worldwide. In addition to being a strong and determined climbed responsible for many hard new routes, Pauligk was known for climbing with his pet cockatoos on his shoulders. The birds were know to on occasion fly off to 'visit' climbers on nearby routes, 'playfully' untieing their shoelaces and removing their protection below!!!Clearly another of climbing's great colorful characters has left us. RIP
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Jan 24, 2017 - 11:22am PT
Love those RPs, took a whipper on one once

Big Wall climber
Jan 24, 2017 - 11:48am PT
Legend. RIP Roland
steve s

Trad climber
Jan 24, 2017 - 11:53am PT
RP,s changed the game for us bitd at Devils lake. Saved my ass a few times. Thanks Roland. RIP bro.

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Jan 24, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
I like what my old climbing partner, Larry Coates, said about RP's and the difference between the newer and the older generation of climbers.

Older Generation "I got in an #2 RP. I hope I can get in something good a bit higher."

Newer Generation "I got in an #2 RP. I'll run it out to the belay."

RIP, Roland.

Jan 24, 2017 - 12:44pm PT

Great read about RP.^^ I didn't know a couple of interesting facts. That he escaped from E Germany and he soldered EVERY RP himself. Impressive things both.


The fat part of the bell-curve
Jan 24, 2017 - 12:54pm PT
BITD before bolts became as prevalent RPs were the key to finding elusive safety on blank looking walls. The "0" size was amusing though, you'd look at it and think "no way".

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Jan 24, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
I read something from Mountain mag whereby in the pre-Screamers era UK climbers were using RPs as shock absorbers - sew a crack up with 6 #1s close together so that if you fell the first 5 would break and absorb enough energy in doing so that the 6th would hold, which it would not have otherwise done.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 24, 2017 - 02:03pm PT
When I was at Arapiles in 2008 we heard he was still making the RPs and that if you want to get a set from him you'd better hurry. I had a set with me that I had borrowed tho I think I only placed one once or twice.

Yeah the cockateel (spelling?) bird stories and photos were great.

RP bolt plates were and probably still are the best for snagging carrots too.
He is referring to the infamous carrot bolts encountered throughout Australia. People would freak over here in the US coming across one of these hangerless bolts.


Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Jan 24, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
RIP RP and thank you so much for your awesome contribution to the evolution of climbing gear! I've placed more of these than I could possibly remember or count. It was especially cool to climb at Arapiles and see how perfectly they work there in certain situations.
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
Jan 24, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
Sad news. Like Tami, I met RP in Yosemite (1982?), where he was selling his eponymous nuts to pay for his trip. Part of the great post-war diaspora from central Europe that enriched mountaineering and climbing in North America and Australia.

Friends 1978/79, RPs 1980 (?), sticky rubber 1982.

We were a bit suspicious of RPs at first. The practice in free climbing was either to use a LOT of them - usually in tiny cracks - on the theory that they'd at least slow you down, and maybe one would hold. Also, to use them in "nests", even equalized a bit. They were pretty handy for aid climbing, too.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Jan 24, 2017 - 03:46pm PT
Started using them in 78' after my freind Jay brought them back from an Australia trip. Yup, they often made the difference of reducing a grim runout to something somewhat tamer. RIP RP, the man not the nut.

Social climber
Wise Acres
Jan 24, 2017 - 04:35pm PT
Sorry to hear this RIP Roland, Luv RP nuts!

Social climber
Jan 24, 2017 - 05:20pm PT
hey there say... thank you for sharing... i am still learning about so many climbers in the world...

my condolences and prayers for his family and loved ones, at this sad hard time of loss...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 24, 2017 - 07:00pm PT
Roland's wonderful brass nuts allowed me to do a lot of my best climbing. Whether it was wandering around the blank faces in Tucson free climbing or working tiny seams on aid on El Cap, RPs were my ticket to adventure.

Rest in Peace RP and thanks for all you've done for climbing world wide.

Quite a while ago I heard the John Sherman was heading down under and asked him to bring me back seven full sets and a set of his larger aluminum nuts should he find any still available. John's response once he returned with the goods was "Now you can go do Tubesock Tanline in Eldo" one of his thrillers that requires a fistfull of brassies.

If anyone has a set of the larger aluminum RP nuts that they would be willing to part with please contact me as I am still searching for one for the Archive.

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 24, 2017 - 07:19pm PT
Brennan...There's plenty of fish in the ocean..At least you didn't get a dead parakeet...rj
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 24, 2017 - 07:21pm PT
What no love for the tiny ones? I have stood on dozens of the #0s and #1s in the course of my wall climbing. I took a forty footer while standing on one #0 and weighting another on the Turning Point when the dainty cable failed while I was staring down the upper placement. Went right back up and put them back in with better results. No aggressive testing allowed on those pups. Not even a hop allowed!
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Jan 24, 2017 - 07:49pm PT
The Red #2s helped me through some nervous moments...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 24, 2017 - 08:38pm PT
Mountain 43

Henry Barber went on a rampage during his first visit to Australia, freeing dozens of previously aided routes and establishing hard new climbs. On Frog Buttress alone he removed the aid from twelve routes (including Child in Time, grade 22) and made sever first ascents, several of which were graded 23. Victorian climbs fell to Barber at a similar hurricane pace of up to six a day. These included the direct finish to A Taste of Honey, a horrific technical roof - Dramp (23) - which Barber compared to Our Father at Stoney Middleton, Kama Sutra (22), Pebbles (23), and the often attempted Reaper (20).

At Mt. Buffalo Gorge he made the second ascent of the ferocious off-width crack, Monarch (22), which had been climbed for the first time only two days before by Ronald Pauligk, and then made the first free ascent Black Road originally graded 23/M0 by Ian Lewis, but down graded to 22 by Barber.


New South Wales

Development of the Wolgan Valley continues at a rapid pace. Two superb new wall climbs have been added by Mike Law: with Pete Taylor, he did The Winding Wall (22/M0) and with Nick Taylor he put up The Fall (20), a climb with three crux pitches.

The single point of aid on War of the Roses was removed during the second ascent by Roland Pauligk and Pete Cannings, but the climb is still graded 20.

Pauligk, with Tony Nemec, also made free ascents of Return to Anarchy and Ishtar, both grade 20, while Steppenwolf (21) was freed by Nick Taylor and Mike Law...

Mountain 46


New South Wales

...The Coke Ovens themselves have have been the scene of much forceful activity, resulting in the long-awaited freeing of Mop Up (20), a hard finger problem which went to Chris Peisker and Bryden Allen.In The Name of Morality (20) was also freed by Roland Pauligk and Tony Nemec. This route, which has seen other strong freeing attempts, ranks with Barber's most significant free-climbs in the area - The Weirding Wall (22) and Flashpoint (22)...

Mountain 55



There have been important developments on Mt. Rosea...
...the most active climber hereabouts was Tim Bearman. Climbing mainly with Roland Pauligk, he added a fine series of routes, including Burning Delight (20), Cream (20), and Call of the Wild (21)...

Mountain 60



...On the Second Dial, Tim Bearman and Roland Pauligk have added a number of new routes, the hardest being San Francisco Bay Area Bombers (20)...

Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jan 25, 2017 - 01:20am PT
Rest in Peace my dear, dear friend in Australia.
With my warmest thoughts to your family.
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