Patrick Edlinger


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Trad climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
So sad when two of the most brilliant climbers of that era pass away in their early 50s

make it three-- that's patrick berhault belaying in the lead pic in the dauphine article--
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
The OP was not an announcer's hex.

Nobody ever wants to think it, but we are a superstitious lot, many of us. It's just weird, ain't it, about the timing.

Un moment de silence pour Patrick. RIP.

My condolences to you guys who climbed with and knew him.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:28pm PT
Hoh man!

Just back from delicate arch hike. I read this thread the other night
And thought about watching him at snowbird ... Quel drag!

Hebrews 1:3
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:33pm PT
Sad news.

Social climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:35pm PT
Why are you posting these links that are in french?

While this might be predominantly an English speakers site, not everyone here is immune to speaking other languages.........

Patrick Edlinger R I P

Nov 17, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
I guess I should takes some vitamins to help boost my immune system. Not all of us are immune to arrogance as well. Sorry Professor...

Social climber
No Ut
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:13pm PT
I just got the news. Planning and operating the Snowbird '88 event was a huge risk for me, personally. We made the whole thing happen in the short span of February to June. I didn't get the invites out to the climbers until late March or maybe even April. I was extremely gratified that virtually all the top climbers came at such short notice. I took their comittment as a vote of confidence. I had never before organized any kind of event I had never designed a climbing wall and this one had to be designed with the architect of the Cliff Lodge so as to enhance the design, rather than detract from it. I also had to work out the details of the major features, including the relative friction of the climbing surface and the strength and rigidity of the whole wall, its' anchorage to the concrete walls of the Lodge. On and on, really...So it felt good to be validated by the climbers, who trusted me enough to take the big leap with me.

Most of the climbers were respectful of all the effort and money behind the show, with a few glaring exceptions. But the biggest star, Patrick Edlinger, was also the most gracious and thankful of all, Patrick let me know that he understood the risk and work behind the show and let me also know that he trusted my vision and passion as a climber, to do things well.

Before the event, I picked Patrick as the winner-on a different spiritual plane from the rest,

I'm glad to have known him.


Social climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
hey there say, jello... thank you for the nice note, on patrick...

i never knew or know, so many of you all...
i just got to know about patrick now...

and to ionlyski:

you see--you had a gut feeling to post about someone very special...
someone whose friends and family, as well, would agree, would LOVE
sharing and reading all this...

you gave him a wonderful salute...

only god (as in how i see it) or powers that be (as others see it)
knew that his time was short and near to end:

thus--you were the one that was 'nudged' to do a very special honor
to a very special climber, before he passed....

for that, ionlyski, be humbled and honored, and please do not
feel bad or troubled...

you were part of a deeper picture here, that was due to come to
pass, anyway...

god bless to you for posting...
and god bless and condolence to the family of patrick edlinger...

and--i am glad for to know him, through this history, and through the joy
of the thread, just before his passing...


Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:11pm PT
Inspirational. It's tragic for one so young and gifted to go, and it doesn't matter if it was a fall or at home. I watched the Snowbird VHS tape until it would no longer play.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:10am PT
Here's the article from Paris-Match:

Patrick Edlinger a effectué l'ultime ascension. Âgé de 52 ans, il a été retrouvé sans vie à son domicile de La Palud-sur-Verdon, dans les Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, selon les informations du «Dauphiné Libéré». Le héros blond de «La vie au bout des doigts» a durablement marqué le monde de l'escalade. Dans ce film de Jean-Paul Janssen sorti en 1982, la France a découvert le style époustouflant de cet adepte de l'escalade libre. Le quotidien local ajoute que le sportif, qui devait participer à un festival de cinéma prochainement, confiait encore en début de semaine se définir comme «un homme libre».

Véritable artiste de la discipline, Patrick Edlinger avait continué de documenter ses exploits, notamment dans «Opéra Vertical», où on le voit évoluer pieds et mains nues à des dizaines de mètres au dessus du sol dans les majestueuses gorges du Verdon, qu'il s'était choisies pour voisines.

Mais Patrick Edlinger avait aussi des démons. Selon l'écrivain Jean-Michel Asselin, qui travaille à une biographie du grimpeur, celui-ci souffrait d'alcoolisme. Patrick Edlinger s'était confié à l'auteur: «Tu sais, je suis seul à pouvoir trouver une solution, c'est le combat le plus dur que j'ai jamais mené, comme un solo impossible, mais je vais m'en sortir».

My translation, loosely based on the Google Translate result:

Patrick Edlinger has made his final ascent. Aged 52, he was found dead at his home in La Palud-sur-Verdon in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, according to information from Dauphiné Libéré. The blond hero of the film Fingertip Life made a lasting mark in the world of climbing. In this film by Jean-Paul Janssen, released in 1982, France discovered the amazing style of this free-climbing master. The local newspaper adds that this athlete, who was about to attend a film festival, had earlier in the week defined himself as "a free man." (Note: although not mentioned in the Paris-Match article, the rest of that quote, from the Dauphiné Libéré, is "I have no regrets about the path I've taken.")

A true artist of the discipline, Patrick Edlinger had continued to document his exploits, notably in The Vertical Opera, where we see him flowing, hands and feet bare, tens of meters above the ground in the majestic Gorges de Verdon, which he had chosen to live near.

But Patrick Edlinger also had demons. According to the writer Jean-Michel Asselin, who is working on a biography of the climber, he suffered from alcoholism. Patrick Edlinger had confided in the author: "You know, I'm alone in trying to find a solution, this is the hardest battle I've ever fought, like an impossible free solo, but I'll top out. "

Rest in peace, Patrick.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:15am PT
So sad to hear of the passing of a legend, and younger even than me.

I remember him winning at Snowbird, back in the infancy of climbing comps, and how the sunshine caught him as he pulled the final overhang.

His movie La Vie au bout des doigts was captivating, and I particularly remember the seemingly gratutitous nudie scene and thinking, "Too funny! He's so French."

So when Pat Ament writes of Patrick Edlinger walking around his place naked in front of him and his girlfriend, I just had to laugh!

Rest in peace, Patrick Edlinger. You were an inspiration. I'm sorry I never had the opportunity to meet you.


Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 12:21am PT
**please do not
feel bad or troubled...**

Well you are insightful and kind as always Neebee. Yes, I have asked myself why. We all have our own ways of explaining that which we don't understand.

Yet this is and always was about Patrick and now his loved ones and friends too. I never met Edlinger, not even close but I feel I know a little of his fine spirit now.

Rest In Peace Sir.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 18, 2012 - 02:19am PT
Why are you posting these links that are in french?

Perhaps better than no link at all. A fair number of people here have at some French, plus there's google translate.

As for my occasional lapses into Norwegian...

Sport climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 03:04am PT
From Panetmountain for those who want English:

"On Friday 16 November 2012 Patrick Edlinger died aged 52. The Frenchman was one of the early pioneers and absolute legends of sport climbing.

It seems almost impossible, but the news has been confirmed by French newspaper Le Dauphine which stated that on Friday 16 November Patrick Edlinger passed away aged 52. It's superfluous to say that the news of his death has profoundly shaken the sport climbing community which recognised the Frenchman as being one of the greatest of this sport.

Born on 15 June 1960, Edlinger began climbing aged 13 and right from the outset it was clear that climbing would take over his life, become his raison d’être. After having repeated all the hardest routes close to home, the youngster didn't think twice, abandoned his studies and hitchhiked to the South of France where he was awaited by that famous, infinite sea of limestone and a sport which still needed inventing.

It was at the famous Luberon crag Buoux that Edlinger first began to leave his indelible mark, climbing numerous routes up to 7a solo (such as the exposed Pilier des Fourmis), succeeding 30 years ago in the world's first 7b on-sight (Captain crochet) and then, in that magic 1982 and still at Buoux, managing to on-sight the world's first 7c, La polka des ringards. These extraordinary performances were repeated in other exceptional crags such as Cimai (were he carried out the audacious free solo of Orange Mécanique 8a in 1989) and obviously also the Verdon Gorge which would then become his second home.

In those starting years Edlinger also took part in numerous competitions and he won the first official sport climbing events, Sport Roccia at Bardonecchia and Arco in both 1985 and 1986. Thanks to this immense talent Edlinger succeeded in first ascending and repeating cutting edge sport climbs, which include Les Specialistes in the Verdon. A route for which he put forward the first-ever 8c grade and which over the years has become a total reference point, a line that all the strongest in the world wish to repeat. Even if the time wasn't perhaps sufficiently ripe for this enormous step forward (the route was soon downgraded to 8b+), Edlinger didn't lose heart and repeated the incredible horizontal roof Le Plafond (also known as Maginot Line) at Volx (by discovering a heel-hook which "sweetened" the grade from 8c to 8b+) as well as Azincourt, the monstrously powerful 8c pocket climb at Buoux.

But apart from these albeit important details, Edlinger will be remembered for another, immeasurable contribution to climbing: the development of one of the most beautiful cliffs in the world, Ceuse. Towards the end of the '80's this band of perfect grey limestone split in two by its famous waterfall captivated the climber, so much so that for numerous seasons it became his "secret garden" where he imposed a style of ascending new routes - extremely severe but always completely loyal - which was copied worldwide and which rendered sport climbing far more than just a simple execution of athletic moves.

Yes, climbing for Edlinger represented the search for an innate beauty applied to faultless technique, often described as a vertical ballet and if one thinks about it, "Le blond" was destined right from the outset to become much more than just a climbing rock star. His roles in the films "La Vie Au Bout Des Doigts (Life at Your Fingertips) and the unforgettable Opéra Vertical, both by filmmaker Jean-Paul Janssen, shot him to stardom not only in France but also throughout the rest of Europe. These timeless classic were followed by a series of other films as well as books which taught and fuelled the dreams of entire generations.

Dreams. Perhaps this is the key to understanding the legend called Edlinger. Ever since childhood Patrick knew how to live out his dreams and perhaps it is because of this that, for those of us who started to climb by imitating his technique, he is an absolute Legend. One of those with a capital L, just like his great friend and partner of a thousand other adventures, the other climbing Patrick, Patrick Berhault. This is why we like to remember Edlinger as he was when we met him at Trento three years ago, when he wanted to talk about his friend who had died prematurely, about Ceuse, about those daring early years and about his climbing. Yes, an authentic dream."

Trento 2009 interview (texted in English):

My RSPCT to Jello as organiser of Snowbird '88. There are stories within stories within stories that should be told.

Sport climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 03:14am PT
Patrick Edlinger and Patrick Berhault on "Il Pesce"/"Fish" (Marmolada, Dolomites) - the route mentioned in the interview.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 18, 2012 - 04:06am PT
He made it look easy.

R.I.P. Patrick.
climber bob

Social climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 07:52am PT
a true master at his craft..and a beautiful spirit, R.I.P

Nov 18, 2012 - 09:20am PT
He obviously touched a lot of our lives, when he spoke of the small things in life that he savored after a solo, like a drink of water I understood, climbing, and especially soloing can distill life and make us appreciate even the most minute aspects of life. In his recent interview it was evident he still held climbing in a special place in his life. I wanted to emulate him, to just live and climb, abandoning the constrains of life to do so, but alas I like most of us just couldn't make that commitment but Patrick I understood and admired and I hope your spirit is forever in your beloved Verdon.

Nov 18, 2012 - 11:17am PT
Rest in Peace our friend, condolences to his family & close friends and thanks up upping the standard.

Credit: Conrad

Big Wall climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
Sad news to here of Patricks passing, but his spirit lives on in those he inspired and the climbing world at large.
I was fortunate enough to climb and get to know him when he and his team came to the states during the 1980s. Although there was a language barrier at first, we some how communicated very well, mostly through the common passion to climb. Watching him climb was inspirational to say the least, and the memories of climbing in the Flatirons, Eldorado and Boulder Canyons as well as our apres-climb gatherings on Pearl Street here in Boulder still remain. The good times and fond memories are to numerous to detail, but rest asure we all had the time of our life back in those days. He motivated me to go to Europe and climb in magnificent areas like Gorge du Verdon, Buoux, Les Calanques, etc, My french speaking also became more fluent, although is surely out of practice today. Last time I saw him, was a random encounter while bouldering in Hueco Tanks, he was with Fred Nicole and we had a bouldering session together, he was in top form then. I could go on and on, but the forum has done a good job[photo[photo[photo
Patrick instantly adapting to gear placement and strenuous crack climb...
Patrick instantly adapting to gear placement and strenuous crack climbing, flashing Blues Power in Eldorado Canyon. 80s.
Credit: sunnyside
id=274361]id=274360]id=274356] exposing his persona and greatness.
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