What is the age of the oldest climber doing big walls?


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Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 12, 2007 - 08:25pm PT
Who is the oldest climber to have climbed the Captaian?
Who is the youngest to climb the Captaian?

I should have stated led not just jugged or guided. But Sh#t 81 !!!!

Feb 12, 2007 - 10:32pm PT
I'd like to know, too.

Fred Beckey bailed on his last El Cap attempt. That might have been some kind of record.

I think average or combined age of the team is a consideration. Seems like many older folk could jug but not have it together on the sharp end. Me fogged mind recalls Galen doing NIAD with a dad. Don't know how one can breach the subject without a thought of Bridwell.

Ran into Shipoopi fresh off Freerider, mentioned himself being the oldest to free any EC route. But he's only 58.

(Hahaha, S., just pokin'...great work!)

The youngest...Chris and Morgan Mac still the kings? Not too much younger than Burton and Sutton, who fired the Nose wayback and went on to FA at a still-young age.

Undoubtedly there are others. Fill us in! Is Ty on the list somewhere?

What I want to know is... (I'll start another thread)


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 12, 2007 - 10:34pm PT
At the rate it's taking me to get down there and get on one it's likely to be me by the time I do...

Feb 12, 2007 - 10:50pm PT
Mmm, not sure about that Scott Cory trivia, del. No disputing it happened, but methinks Hans's age brought the average up a smidgeon. Still a cool notable, but I'll bet some kook eventually hauls his infant up if we keep tabs like that. (Hope not!)

81 is stout. Wonder if he led anything. Woops, I forgot the "a" in "led"...

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 12, 2007 - 10:54pm PT
Hell, I'd be stoked to rap it at 81...

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Feb 12, 2007 - 11:03pm PT
One of the older guys (he must be over 50 by now..?) who does El Cap routes at the highest level with no signs of slowing down is the notorious "E." Older guys have done the Big Stone but E is still tearing it up.


Feb 12, 2007 - 11:30pm PT
I want to place my bets right now on Mike Corbett that someday he will set the record as the oldest to do The Captain.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 12, 2007 - 11:45pm PT
Steve Sutton and Hugh Burton were 17 when they did the Nose, in 1970.

Does "doing big walls" mean climbing them in the way that most do, i.e. a two person amateur team, with each person leading half the pitches?

Being led up by a guide, or jumaring most or all pitches, seem quite a different quality ascent than classic ascent style.
Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2007 - 11:49pm PT
Dennis Kemp in about 1980 did his frist valley big wall at 57. At 23 I thought 57 was oooolllldddd but looking at 52 its pretty fing young!

Trad climber
Feb 13, 2007 - 12:10am PT
Steve Sutton and Hugh Burton were 17 when they did the Nose, in 1970

wasn't the owner of this website 16 when he first climbed the Captain?

Feb 13, 2007 - 01:39am PT
I'm pretty sure Han's wife Jackie did the capitan at least once if not more while pregnant with their first child. I know she soloed some easy free climbs during that period.
jack herer

veneta, or
Feb 13, 2007 - 02:29am PT
Mike. - You said shipoopi's 58, we climbed el cap together for his 44th birthday in 05, so I think your a little bit off.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Feb 13, 2007 - 03:02am PT
Hans, Jackie and I did Zodiac in 15:12 when she was carrying their daughter. She was a stellar partner...that Hans is a lucky man.

I can't wait to get back down there this spring for more fun on that magical stone.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 13, 2007 - 03:06am PT
Wayne - man - do you ever do anything low-key and relaxed? You really do set a high bar for us poor, sodden schlepps up here. Poor Layton's barely keeping up and he's moving and thinking four times faster than the rest of us. If Mike ever fails us were going to have to give Bill Coe and Jim Anglin some meth and see if they can't keep up with you...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 13, 2007 - 09:50am PT
When Tony Yaniro did the Dorn he was 16, and led the crux on a new route.

I'm gonna be 53 soon and I'm still soloing new routes.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Feb 13, 2007 - 11:09am PT
Individually, neither E or Mo, would qualify, but their combined ages when they did Tribal Rite in Oct. would be somewhere around 103

Truckee, CA
Feb 13, 2007 - 12:20pm PT
I dimly recall Richard Hechtel doing the Nose or El Cap as quite an oldster, with Ed Barry. He did some classic Valley FA's way back.


Gym climber
Otto, NC
Feb 13, 2007 - 12:25pm PT
Leo was pretty dang young when he got on El Nino, perhaps 19? Not super-young, but a stout outing for a Brit's first go-round.

la la land
Feb 13, 2007 - 12:36pm PT
Met some dude this summer that soloed the Straw... he seemed older than 50. Cool guy and was super stoked for him. If my mind isn't playing tricks, he's from New Mexico with a ill name like, Devito(???).

Who are the youngest for a VI FA? Sutton and Burton, how old were they on some of those new routes? I'm talking team age averaged, not just one young guy.

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Feb 13, 2007 - 12:51pm PT
It was a real bummer for all of us involved when Fred (Beckey) talked himself out of doing El Cap. My research shows he is either 83 or 86, leaning towards 86. If you ask him, he won't give you an answer. Either way, not only would it have been his first time up the captain, but he would have been the oldest to have climbed it. It was pretty amazing watching him jug. Hell, it was amazing watching him on the approach each day. He has one speed. Never slows down. Just a nice, steady pace.

"Good Times"
One of my favorite shots from the week. Makes me smile every time I look at it.

"Rise and Shine"

"One Speed"

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