RIP Werner Landry


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Grey Matter
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 17, 2017 - 09:09pm PT
One of the top climbers of San Diego in the 70s,
with many first ascents at Mission Gorge, Stonewall, Corte Madera, el Trono Blanco, and more in the big mountains of the world.

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Jul 17, 2017 - 09:15pm PT
Another climber too young to pass. Condolences.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Jul 18, 2017 - 03:33am PT
Oh no!! Ah, man...I really liked Werner. Always had such a great vibe, and really inspired a lot of us San Diego climbers. Dementia and Parkinson's...that's a really tough road. Very sorry to hear this news.

Trad climber
San Diego, Ca
Jul 18, 2017 - 07:39am PT
San Diego legend for sure.

Trad climber
Jul 18, 2017 - 07:51am PT
Wow, sad to hear. Like the link says I remember him from climbing around San Diego and more recently from when he worked at the city. Condolences to his family.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 18, 2017 - 08:12am PT
Werner was always around back in the day and was always a gracious host. A guy who was really into whatever he was doing. RIP amigo.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jul 18, 2017 - 11:29am PT
From reading his obituary sounds like a soul who lived a full life. Sorry to hear of his passing, condolences to friends and family. Would have been really cool to meet Werner around Mission Gorge or other SD climbing areas. Thanks Werner for putting up many fun routes in SD we grew up climbing on and hopefully my son will enjoy more in the future as well. Rest well.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:28pm PT
Only met Werner a few times, most notably at Mt. Woodson.

I believe it was Werner who was behind the first series of Woodson Bouldering Contests - the first outdoor bouldering contests in So Cal (or elsewhere?). These were super fun events that really brought the So Cal climbing community together.

When he stopped doing these, we were inspired to organize the two Rubidoux contests. Only then did we appreciate the amount of hard work Werner had poured into these events over the years.

Thanks Werner.


Ice climber
mogollon rim
Jul 18, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
I always thought that werner looked like Rutger Hauer
I think Werner organized and maybe paid for the attempted rescue and search for chuck bloodworth and guy andrews who disappeared on the s face of ancongoga in I think 81.
really a top notch guy


San Diego
Jul 18, 2017 - 06:45pm PT
If you climb the standard classics in San Diego you will be climbing some of Werner's routes. He was a leader of the generation before BVB. Sorry to see them go.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Jul 19, 2017 - 12:30pm PT
Werner was a Titan of my youth. BVB and I actually had some quasi-formal climbing instruction from him; he was buddies with Bill Davenport, our Explorer troop leader, and Bill conned Werner into doing a class with us. We'd already done a little climbing, and the fact that Werner was the guidebook author for our local crag Mission Gorge was not lost on us. As a youth I always found him a little taciturn and intimidating. Our pal Guy Andrews was a protege of Werner's before Guy's tragic young death on Aconcagua as EE mentions above. I'm sure that horrible event had a significant impact on Werner too. Werner also had a lot to do with developing climbing in Canon Tajo in northern Baja California. What a bummer, and one can infer that recent years must have been challenging. Damn.

Big Wall climber
Jul 19, 2017 - 12:41pm PT
Condolences to friends and family of Werner Landry. I began my illustrious climbing career at Mission Gorge in 1970. At that time, Werner was a legend of sorts. Shortly after finally leading The Ramp for the first time, I remember watching Werner lead that corner roof climb just right of Lily's Delight (Can't remember the name). He floated it and I was very impressed and motivated to push myself. I have fond memories of the San Diego climbing scene in the early 70's and I am grateful to Werner for his contributions.


Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 19, 2017 - 06:32pm PT
I only climbed with Werner once, when we climbed The Vampire on Tahquitz Rock together, and we had an awesome day. His enthusiasm was contagious. He truly loved climbing in Baja, Mexico and he spoke about the Trono Blanco with a gleam in his eye. RIP Werner.
clam dip

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2017 - 04:31pm PT
I spent a day climbing Snow Creek on San Jack with Werner about 15 years ago. One of the more optimistic guys I've climbed with.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Jul 21, 2017 - 07:20am PT
I didn't know Werner, but always heard great things about him from friends who knew him well.
Condolences to friends and family.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 21, 2017 - 08:32am PT
I am sorry I never knew the man.

Sounds like a great climber who shared his passion.

I offer my sincere condolences to his Family and many many Friends.


Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 21, 2017 - 11:04am PT
So sorry to hear this. I knew him a little bit as both a climber and a geologist. He was the boss of a few of my fellow San Diego State geology students, including my former girlfriend. I remember him well from the first (or was it the second) Woodson contest. That was the one where Boulder 13 was rated the highest (13). He was a mighty impressive guy.
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 11, 2017 - 02:23pm PT
A celebration of his life will be held on August 20. Email me if you'd like to attend.

He climbed Popo and Orizaba and was on the first ascent of Foraker's French Ridge, a mostly French team that included, oddly enough, Fred Beckey. He organized and led expeditions to, and nearly summited, Annapurna III, but didn't get very far on Gasherbrum IV. He got close to the summit of Aconcagua looking for Guy Andrews and Chuck Bludworth. Their bodies were never found. Well after his salad days he climbed Ama Dablam and the West Rib of Denali just for fun.

He wrote an early guide book for Mission Gorge, was working on one for Corte Madera, and we were among the first to explore the big diamond shaped face on the far right of El Cajon Mtn. I have a photo he took of me starting what is now known as The Swiftness from the mid-1970s.

He organized most of the San Diego bouldering contests after the first one in 1972 (held in Mission Gorge), in which he tied for first with Rick Piggot, if I recall correctly.

He didn't climb a lot in the Valley but did S. Face of the Column, Triple Direct, Direct NW Face of Half Dome and The Prow, among others. He loved Tuolumne and the High Sierra though and he spent a week or two climbing up there most summers. He and Kenny Cook did a first ascent on Aiguille Extra on excellent rock. He did most of the ice gullies and Lee Vining ice routes, routes on Temple Crag, Mt. Conness, Lone Pine Peak and Charlotte Dome to name a few.

He put up many free climbs on the domes at Canon Tajo, and Grade Vs Happy Hooker, South Wall and Leaving on a Jet Plane (Grade VI). He repeated the Executive Route and a few others over on the right side, Pan Am in '75, and he and I did the second ascent of Giraffe in 1978.

Here's the obit.


San Diego
Aug 13, 2017 - 08:30pm PT
Did not know he was a big mountain climber in the greater ranges. Sorry for the loss of your good friend JV.
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 14, 2017 - 11:14am PT
Thanks Chris. In addition to the climbing, he loved to kayak in the Sea of Cortez and could always spear a Cabrilla or 3 for dinner. He knew Jack Prodonovich and Wally Potts of the famed Bottom Scratchers and built beautiful, laminated hardwood spear guns from their designs. He paddled around Angel de la Guarda island and did the midriff crossing more than once, and had some close calls with the changing tides and bad weather.

He was a pilot and flew my wife and I to Santa Barbara for an event, and picked us up afterward, and to Las Palmas in Baja for a getaway. He talked me into my only triathlon, the Port of San Diego, and we did the La Jolla Rough Water Swim several times. He swam the Gator Man (to Scripps Pier and back, 3 miles) one year. It was his idea to do the SF Bay Sharkfest swim. My daughter came with us and took first in the 19 and under category on or about Father's Day 1997.

We had a family Thanksgiving in Idyllwild one year, and he had me drop him off at Humber Park early one morning. He hiked to the summit and down a ridge to the 111 and hitchhiked back to Idyllwild in time for dinner. He jogged down the ridge line from Toro Peak to S22 via Rabbit and Villager Peaks in one day, following our group of four who did it in two days. He and four other guys did the Grand Canyon South Rim to North Rim and back to the South Rim (54 Miles?) in a continuous push.

He befriended a family with a ranch a few miles south of Canon Tajo, and built a cabin and corral. He became quite a horseman and stabled his horses with the family. Others followed and horseback riding trips became a source of income for the family.

He packed a lot into his 69 years, and instigated countless memorable adventures for his friends and neighbors. He made the lives of all us who knew him immensely richer.
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