Dave Lanman RIP


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Trad climber
Here and there
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 31, 2018 - 03:50pm PT
I received some sad news from another ex-Gunkie today. Dave passed away in his sleep.

About 40 years ago while on one of my 1st solo forays to the Gunks with my brand-new driverís license and 1st car, I was walking down the carriage road towards the Uberfall looking for a climbing partner. I spotted a group of fellow degenerate-looking kids about my age (16). One kid was wearing a colorful bandanna over a mop of blond hair, he was also smoking a cigarette. This was my 1st encounter with Dave. I wound up tagging along with the group, all of which were much better climbers than me and nobody cared. It was one of those "hey I like these kids" moments. All of these folks became good friends, including Dave.

We lived together in the infamous Rat House in the mid-80ís along with his cat Tweeker, back when it only meant a small handhold. He even trained the cat to do pull-ups on a door-jam!

Dave was a gifted climber, I never came close to what he was able to do. Even as I struggled to lead the 5.10ís he would solo, there was always enthusiasm and encouragement. Some climbers who climbed at his level seemed to have a better than you attitude, luckily this was not the case for most climbers in the Gunks, including Dave. He was always stoked for you no matter what you were doing. I still appreciate that to this day.
My condolences to his family, we also lost his brother Steve not too long ago.

Landman, although we havenít seen each other in years, Iíll still miss you nonetheless!

Farewell brother!

A few photos, taken back in the day when it was Ok to hold a whipper and a Nikon at the same time.

Lanman, before the stupid route name change....
Lanman, before the stupid route name change....
Credit: Oldfattradguy2

Credit: Oldfattradguy2

Credit: Oldfattradguy2

Credit: Oldfattradguy2


Mountain climber
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:11pm PT
Cheers Dave!

I am just too sad to post anything detailed right now...
I love you man!

So many fun times together.
Here's a few pics that Chris Rogers apparently took in /77 and /79 at Bon Echo.
I remember helping you and your brother Steve (RIP) hang the training board that weekend. You introduced me at age 13 to Jim Beam!

"The LANDMAN", what an icon. I can't wait to read some of the stories.

RIP Dave

Dave Lanman "LANDMAN" Bon Echo &#40;Chris Rogers&#41;
Dave Lanman "LANDMAN" Bon Echo (Chris Rogers)
Credit: PinkTaco
Bon Echo 1977 &#40;Chris Rogers&#41;
Bon Echo 1977 (Chris Rogers)
Credit: PinkTaco
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 31, 2018 - 04:31pm PT
RIP Dave
My sincere condolences to family, friends and the Gunks tribe.

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jan 31, 2018 - 05:19pm PT
At a climbing comp at the original Joe Rockhead's in Toronto, maybe 1990, talking to Quinton Bennett.

Credit: MH2

He won handily, but more importantly he gave legitimacy to the event and made everyone glad to be a part of it.

Which is a good trick for a guy getting by with one lung.
Cynthia Sundermann

Boulder climber
Jan 31, 2018 - 05:50pm PT
RIP Dave Lanman. He was a true rock star in his youth. I have fond memories of hanging out in the Gunks. Thanks to everyone that posted photos of him. The photo of Dave in the Pink shirt reminds me of the Dave I knew in the late 1980's or early 1990's. He was a very humble man and a true rock legend.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Jan 31, 2018 - 06:28pm PT
There are NO words - so special, just the sweetest,
woe, , sad
thnxs for the sad news & great shots.
Strong, Canucks both in drink and daring, true to the last
I'll never be able to do justice,

just gutted that we didn't run into each other this past fall.

was 16 or 17 when they climbed Elcap. eha? Oh!!
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
/**OH & both brothers gone now ...

`just to point out that the 1st pix, are of "Love Muscle" (re-named,Cybernetic Wall) with 5? pieces of gear
a climb that was, if I remember- grades harder than anything on the continent at the time, for a short time.
Coming in at a confirmed, .14a,


Jan 31, 2018 - 06:38pm PT
RIP Dave Lanman, really good climber

Social climber
Jan 31, 2018 - 09:29pm PT
hey there, say, thank you for sharing...

my condolences to his family and loved ones...

and prayers, as they move onward, without him...
steve s

Trad climber
Jan 31, 2018 - 09:35pm PT
This is some harsh news. Dave was a great guy and very good climber. I first met him during our extended stay in Joshua tree winter of 1984-85. Climbed with him a lot . He earned the nick name " picnic butt" for always wearing some white shorts with a red checkered picnic table cloth sewn on his butt. I remember he did some f.a. with Roger Whitehead (rip)and they called it "Minute man" . I last saw him out here in Eldo a number of years ago. He was living in New Mexico I believe and had come up to visit Clean Dan (rip). We had some good times and he was always keen to climb or party or both. He was always interested in how you were doing and that things were okay with you . I was planning to look him up at the Gunks this summer. The moral is to try and reach out to your friends while you still can. Rest in peace Picnic Butt Dave.

Trad climber
Jan 31, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
I got to know Dave and his brother Steve many years ago during an extended stay in New Paltz. They were great guys and I am saddened to hear that they are both gone. Dave was certainly a tremendous climber. My condolences to his family and friends.

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 1, 2018 - 11:33am PT
Sorry to hear this. I hung out with Dave a bit circa 1977-1978. He'd come to the valley with a crew from the Toronto/Buffalo area. I can picture him right now as a 16 or 17-year-old kid. I hadn't seen him since then. Rest in peace.

Jingus Newroutaineer
Feb 1, 2018 - 12:38pm PT
^^^Yep, met Dave then in the Valley. He had just come down from The Shield at age 16 and inspired me to do it the following year at 17. He was traveling with his brother Steve (red-hair? iirc) around 1978.

He led me and a guy name of Dean (ex-Army Medic with a fused wrist that took shrapnel through it in a helicopter in Vietnam) up Serenity Crack for the first time and we looked at the cracks above and knew there had to be a classic up there some day... Had an epic when we forgot a knot in the rope after the second rappel right at dark. I volunteered to bat man up the second pitch to fix my mistake...16 yo cajones BITD.

Dave had very strong fingers for the time...pretty sure he onsighted Butterballs that summer too...pre-cams of course.

Scamming tourist chics and dirtbagging....those times are gone. Man, those strippers from New York....Dean scored, I got scorned :).

RIP Dave Lanman and 70's Valley Days.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 1, 2018 - 02:30pm PT
Good ol Dave.

I remember him well from the late 70's and early 80's at Bon Echo, where he climbed the hardest routes in the boldest style. I also remember him hand drawing the first topos I had ever seen - I wonder if they were ever published?

But what I remember most about Dave was his demeanour, and how much my control freak schoolteacher future ex-wife just HATED this guy. Ha!

I remember asking him how he managed to climb such hard routes with such marginal gear, and his response was inevitably the same. And you have to imagine the tone of this voice when you read this, and say it in your mind.

Dave - "Ya just gotta be gotta be cool..."

One of Ontario's most iconic characters, RIP Dave.

Trad climber
New Paltz, NY
Feb 1, 2018 - 03:53pm PT
Thanks! Love what you wrote!

Mountain climber
Feb 1, 2018 - 09:04pm PT
A few memories of Dave:

 He was COMPASSIONATE about everything in his life.

 He was more concerned about how you were, and how your day was going, than what was going on in his own life... unless
... unless it was a redpoint. Then he was all business and a real f*#king pain in the ass - inpatient with everyone and everything.
At those precious moments it was all about him - just as it should be.

 He was inquisitive.

 He loved to read.

 He was polite with a British/Canadien/"You'all" twist.

 Mothers loved him, mine is weeping right now.

 He left a trail of broken .. and relieved hearts.

 He preferred Camel Straight.

 He loved good old rock'n'roll. He was sending me so much Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, and Keith Richards sh#t in the last year that it made me feel like he was a friend from high school who never moved on.
I spammed him,.. and now I feel guilty.

 We both worked as illegal aliens at the Gay Nineties for a time. He as a cook flipping eggs and I was his prep-cook.

(THAT ORANGE PIGFACE would have us walk the plank over the Niagara today! - prolly still will retroactively.)

Being the cook gave him a distinct advantage in drinking games since I had to get up 3 hours earlier for the walk from the Rat Ranch to town. (BTW thanks Skip!)

 We were at the crag everyday by noon with a pack full of free food (thanks to Axe, and Paul Hubbs(RIP) for bake goods and open hearts).

 Kevin Bein(RIP) would sit at the bar in front of Dave doing the Times X-word in ink everyday. Dave would be slinging plates and dingin the bell while simultaneously shouting suggestions to solutions from Kevin's periodic queries.

 We climbed 45-days straight one time because everyday the forecast was that it would rain tomorrow. Dave would say, oh comm'on just belay me then.. and we'd both end up climbing - It Never Rains by Dire Straights cranked in his truck each day w J in hand. COMPASSION.

 We bouldered a lot. He did many (most) Gill problems in the area.

 Dave once asked me to give him a spot while he soloed Open Cockpit (LOL). I was in the forest covering my ears before he had two feet off the ground! ... I'm pretty sure he solo'd Super Crack too, but I don't think he liked to talk about it.

 He solo'd more when he had girlfriend problems. COMPASSION.

 He solo'd a lot!

 We worked on the FFA of Spiderman at Bon Echo together. I recall getting to the top of the longish free-hanging fixed jug on the 3rd or 4th pitch and finding the core of the rope hanging out of the sheath like swollen labia - with no post-hoc prevention installed! - and me freaking out. He said CHILL MAN, its all good.

 I rolled into the Snowbird comp in Yabo's old Econoline with John (RIP) sketching out about my driving. We had come from the City of Rocks comp put on by Yaniro and Thompson via Bend. I saw Dave and Steve in LCC exiting Dave's old 2WD blue Toyota truck with their gear. They had just driven out from the Gunks for the comp. We climbed something. Then promptly went to the Cliff Lodge and found Jason Stern (an invitee), who housed a bunch of us reprobates for the weekend in his room. The rest of the Gunks contingent were in Scott's room I suspect (another invitee). Good turnout for the Gunkie's, I recall Dave, Steve, Scott, Colin(?), Jordan, Al, and myself (sorry if there were others). Dave nailed it and qualified to move from the Open event to the Invitational (wonder if there are any results out there for the open event?). He was the true dark horse of the day. Nobody there had heard of him. Beautiful to watch climb. So smooth. Like Patrick in his own way.
He was pretty nervous - out of his head on day two - so he kinda remained a dark horse. But I think he preferred it that way.

 6 months later we happened to both be in Ontario for Xmas visiting family. We got really drunk and he rolled that old blue truck 3 times down the escarpment (a bad idea Mt Nemo excursion at 2am). He hurt his shoulder bad and it really affected him from then on I think. I missed my flight the next day to Patagonia as I went through the windshield a bit.

 Was a good ride Dave. Sure do miss you already!


'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 2, 2018 - 05:48am PT
^^ Wow! Thanks for that. What is your name, Pink Taco? Have we met?

I don't think I was ever good enough to climb Spiderman. Compulsion I think was my all time favourite, didn't Dave free that one?

The route he was referring to - "Ya just gotta be cool..." was some direct George Manson variation I think? Maybe up and right of the Joke?

Wow, I can't believe how much of Bon Echo I have forgotten. Watch for me and Anita514 tearin' it up there this summer. We're gonna do some free climbing.

RIP Dave.

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Feb 2, 2018 - 06:06am PT
No deep words. Met him twice; nice guy and a hell of a climber.

Trad climber
Feb 2, 2018 - 09:07am PT
Dave Smart has written up a fine tribute to him.

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Feb 2, 2018 - 09:46am PT
Dave's play ground

He ranged far and wide, from his Gunks base camp
Soon settling to exploring the ridges, & woods.
There has been 70+ years of climbing with only scant records for the climbs along the ridge. A Life-spring for "locals" with no information.
Looking at the lines, often you can tell.
Dave's FA climbs are among the best & hardest.

The most 'in-famous' are short,requiring,powerful,moves that Seem to demand at least a pad if not a rope.
Dave often worked these on his own, without anything
(at most a spot & a patch of carpet)

Some are more than a rope length.
Some of those, that Dave led back then, were often very 'R' rated at the top.
with potential for big air.
Dave was ferocious, boulder'd at today' mid 'V's levels, back then.
It is enough to be told "its a Lanman route, I think" to know to expect that .11 sort of 5.10, crux.
A shared rope yields the rewards, which may come with failure.
Dave waltzed things 1st try, often third classing them before leaving the same day.
I have sad tears,
I'll always remember; Dave Was A Rock Star

He Was Mick Jagger . . .


never had to ask
Always a double Shot, For Dave

Dave spent a lot of time climbing out past Bonticou

& from his home; the A frame at the end of the dirt road before it was the parkinglot.

Looking back, life at the end of the dirty road was paradise.

some rollercoaster ride: This thing called life.

then there were more erasures -Deleted- Gone?

!?I wish I had cut/pasted All the original posts?!

Feb 2, 2018 - 09:07am PT
Dave Smart has written up a fine tribute to him.


Cheers Dave, Heres-to the lifers ehe? Rock climber-


Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 2, 2018 - 10:01am PT
From Hendo1's link.
A darker note had emerged in Daveís life in 1980, when his mentor, George Manson disappeared with his climbing partners, Sean Lewis, Dave Carroll and Al Chase on the Cassin Ridge of Denali. Dave began to show a side that was sarcastic, sad and forgetful. The seismic effect of these emerging feelings grew over the years as most of us went on to climb further afield, education, work, or relationships, or curbed our climbing or got out, temporarily or forever. Dave, however, continued as he had begun, albeit with diminishing returns and longer periods of drinking between hard efforts
That accident changed a lot of lives. George was one of my best friends and main climbing partners as was Al Chase. I'm sorry that it changed Dave's in the way it did.
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