Layton Kor, the King has died

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Studly

Trad climber
WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
http://www.climbing.com/news/layton-kor-is-dead/

He ruled!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Damm....Suffering now over, His spirit climbs the spirit spires now..

Thanks for the most inspiring of lives to be lived!! RIP Great Climber Sir...
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Fare you well oh Great One.
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Rip..
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
My most sincere condolences to friends and family. Long live the king.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Damn. This is a sad day for sure.

So many amazing stories. Such an incredible man. One of my true heroes.


My son Layton and I will burn candles and incense tonight, to help him on his way.

Climb high Layton.
bearbnz

Trad climber
East Side, California
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
That's sad, another of the Greats gone...
Manny

Social climber
tempe
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
He is an inspiration to me yet. RIP sir.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
No....Layton the Greatun.....there will never be another. I know there are many of you out there that were close to him, my sincerest condolences. Rest in Peace
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
Very, very sad news. He was a true icon. RIP
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
RIP Layton
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
The article says he died in poverty due to his medical bills. A sad ending to what must have been an incredible life.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Layton doing his best Clint Eastwood imitation :-) (Eastwood could only wish he was as hard as Layton)

Layton
Layton
Credit: ydpl8s

Edit: Those, my friends, are not the hands of a pencil pusher.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
The article says he died in poverty due to his medical bills. A sad ending to what must have been an incredible life.


The INCREDIBLE LIFE part is far more important than the poverty part.


Although it can be helpful in so many ways in our final years,
Money matters not, as you pass through the gate....
tom Carter

Social climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
Farewell !
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
RIP Layton. May your spirit be released and continue to soar.
jstan

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Layton made wonderful use of the time he had. An inspiration.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
A solid legacy. His original and enduring climbs will resound into the future. My condolences to his family and friends.
All the climbing world mourns today.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:58pm PT

My #1 "Climbing Idol"...



Sincerest CONDOLENCES to ALL Family, Partners, and Friends of Layton Kor!!!...

A GREAT climber!!!...

steve shea

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
The sweetest sound I ever heard. While climbing on Lumpy Ridge one day long ago there was Layton one route over placing pins with that wonderful musical note as they tighten up in the rock.This was well into the clean era. I missed that sound. Never saw him before or since. I'll always remember Kor making mountain music. RIP
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
The American Way; Die when you run out of Money, so sad.
weezy

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
RIP to Layton the Great 'Un.

Thanks for all the routes and inspiration.

You are now free to roam about the ether.
flyxc

Trad climber
Otisfield, Maine
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
"this route has got to go..."

RIP
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Layton Kor, I knew him in his later years... a fine man. His climbs inspired my entire generation of climbers. He will be missed but never forgotten. So long to another of the very best!
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
Layton Kor was one of the climbers I idolized in my youth. He didn't brag about his accomplishments, he just let his accomplishments speak for themselves.

Even today after over 30 years of climbing experiences, I respect Kor perhaps the most, of the old guard from the golden age.

RIP
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
RIP to one of America's greatest climbers.

John
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
RIP. What a visionary climber. I grew up climbing his Colorado routes. So many of his routes I have climbed time and time again and never cease to find enjoyment.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
The hardest of the hard.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
kor was my total hero growing up. his manic energy and undeniable climbing gift were legendary. there is that one quote from some desert climb..."don't fall now or we'll both go", tha tkind of expresses what it must have been like to climb with him. to come into yosemite valley as a non local and put up new routes on the great faces was huge.

my condolences to his family and friends. steve schneider
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Wow, hard to add to all the recognition and thoughts here other than to echo them.

It sounds like he truly has now found rest and peace from his health issues.

Thoughts and prayers to friends, family, and the climbing community.

Eric
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
RIP Layton, I only met you once.

His Wikipedia page does not mention the Eiger North Face. That needs to be corrected.


EDIT

The Eiger Norwand was a bold move. If over the coming days, I can update his Wiki profile, I will.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
A legend passes, RIP.

My thoughts go out to all of you who knew him as a friend. Especially Ron O, Jello, and Pat. I know they've done a lot to help Layton out these past few years. Hang in there dudes.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
A legend and an inspiration.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Material wealth never seemed to matter much to my dear friend Layton.
He was born in poverty and lived it all his life with great dignity.
He was very very rich, in terms of how much life he had in him,
how much life he went out and embraced, how much joy he brought his
friends, and a little terror. As I have said elsewhere, he was one
of the most fully realized human beings on the planet. Yes he was a
rich man at his passing. I loved him. We seemed to grow closer and
closer, as these last few years rather beat us up. Not for a moment
did Layton lose his wonderful sense of humor. Down to the last few
breaths, his wife and son tell me, he was making puns and tried to
get out a last joke.
Yafer

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Layton, May you find peace as you pass through the gate.
socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Climbed a few of his routes and boulder problems, sad to hear of his passing.

Charles
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Rest.
jopay

climber
so.il
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
So sorry to hear of this, I like many held him in highest esteem, inspiring me in my climbing. I do have a copy of "Beyond The Vertical" which I treasure. Kor is almost a mythical figure in our climbing world and he will remain as such, my condolences to his many close friends and family.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
I'm very saddened at this news, since he was a friend and old climbing partner of mine. He inspired many young and ambitious climbers to push onward and upward to success in the world of climbing. May he rest in Peace.

Rodger

Layton and Brokedownclimber at a Boulder Happy Hour hosted by Philo.
Layton and Brokedownclimber at a Boulder Happy Hour hosted by Philo.
Credit: Brokedownclimber

Layton Kor and Bob Culp. Two early climbing partners, who together for...
Layton Kor and Bob Culp. Two early climbing partners, who together formed an incredible dynamic duo.
Credit: Brokedownclimber
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Patrick Oliver-

You really said a lot about Layton the man, there, old friend!

Rodger
Anastasia

climber
Home
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
May your memory be eternal Layton. Thanks for being you and leaving us with a legacy worth looking up to.

Two very GREAT friends. May we all get to be so lucky.
Two very GREAT friends. May we all get to be so lucky.
Credit: Anastasia
Lucky enough to stand next to his guy.
Lucky enough to stand next to his guy.
Credit: Anastasia
Barbarian

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
Farewell Layton. Rest well. You have earned it.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
Layton at his home in Arizona, 2010, photo by Pat Ament
Layton at his home in Arizona, 2010, photo by Pat Ament
Credit: Patrick Oliver
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
I never met him, but know from posts made here in recent years that he was a very important friend to several of you. My condolences to you, and his family and friends outside Supertopo in your loss and bittersweet memories in celebration of his life.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
I moved to CO more than 25 years ago with the express intent of doing as many of the climbs featured in Climb and also Beyond the Vertical as I could do. Along the way, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Kor twice. Both times I felt like I was meeting Michael Jordan. Once, after completing Rosy Crusifixion, I looked up at upper Ruper, to see him waving at us. This experience was probably more akin to meeting God than Michael Jordan.

This is a sad passing. I have done many of those climbs that I set out to do many years ago. Mr. Kor has always been one of my true climbing heroes. RIP sir, and thank you for the inspiration.
Leggs

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
Blessings and light to all ...
thank you for sharing your memories.



~peace
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:08pm PT
Very sad news. Layton was truly one of the greatest climbers in the sport's history and a major influence across several generations. His routes will live on... I fondly recall several conversations with him back in the later 80's when he would attend the Todd Bibler New Year's Eve parties in Boulder - there was an informal line up to speak with him over a cold beer - a chance to speak with a legend if only for a few minutes... RIP LK.
Anastasia

climber
Home
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:14pm PT


I feel bad for this great immense loss. May all that loved him deeply, his close friends and those he called family, my deepest condolences.

Hugs,
Anastasia Sherman
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Photographer Jim Herrington's image of Kor:


go to:

http://jimherrington.tumblr.com
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
an icon of American climbing.
condolences to his friends, and family
TwistedCrank

climber
Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
He changed all our lives. Made us all better climbers.

I know he did that to me, and I'm a hack.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
More than a hero, more than an icon he was truly a great man.
Not too long ago I spent an evening in camp 4 listening to him tell stories.
Such a humble person. My impression was that he didn't realize what a great climber he was to all of us
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
His vision and genius leaves us all with amazing routes to climb today.

A life well lived.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Peter, that pic is STUNNING.. Absolutely stunning..To know of the trials, tribulations, moments of terror and jubilation's the like few ever experience are there clearly in that face of that Great Man.
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
i picture him in top steps, tall enough to mantle on up there
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
He will be missed but not forgotten - the legacy he leaves with us is huge.
Condolences to all who were close to him.
I love seeing photos posted here, the one with the cat is especially sweet, Pat.
Lisa
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
Okay, a great man, but I am still a bit peeved that little ole' me (5'6") had to make an almost impossible reach for that bolt on the South Face of Washington Column. Just joking. He was and still is an inspiration. May he rest in peace.

Actually the only time I met him, in C4 around a campfire, I asked: "Why didn't you think of us short people?"

He laughed and said something like, "one does not think of things like that in the heat of the moment", I think that was what he said. But I understand.
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Sad to hear this news. Just a couple months ago, went on a road trip with Bridwell and we got to stop in and spend some real quality time with Layton and his lovely wife. As we drove away, Jim knew this was the last time he would see his great friend. Sad indeed. Condolences to his wife, child and climbing friends, again we have lost a great one.
Below is their last shot together.
Peace
Layton Kor, Jim Bridwell, don't get much better than that.
Layton Kor, Jim Bridwell, don't get much better than that.
Credit: ron gomez
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Thank you for all you did for us. Hope that mantle into the clouds was easy.
shady

Trad climber
hasbeen
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Sigh.....
adrian korosec

climber
Tucson
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
It was an honor to learn to climb in Eldorado Canyon, and later on the Colorado Plateau, following in the foot steps if this great man.

Definitely my biggest climbing hero.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
Put in Layton Kor and you get this on MP.

http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/Search.php?query=layton+kor&Submit=Search&SearchSet=
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:12pm PT
hey there say, all...

very sad to hear of this loss of such a special friend to his many buddies, and such a special climber...

thank you supertopo that i was able to learn of him, and all the inspiration that he was to others, and of all this camaraderie with his friends...

my condolences to his family and loved ones, and great buddies, as this
sad time...

wish i could have met him, but at least i DID here...

to his family and friends:
may the memories be sweet, and grow, and may they take away the sorrows
of loss, when they hurt too bad...
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
Very sad. Incomparable legacy.

Susan
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
I spoke to my friend several times this month and could tell things had gotten worse.

He isn't suffering any more, but we are all the poorer for it.
My heart goes out to Karen and Arlon, and I know that the climbing community feels the same.

We can still go out though, and climb Layton's routes, and put our hands and feet where he first did, and think about what he felt (OK a few intermediate moves for me and most others). He will always be with us while the crags stand.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Big life well lived. All those climbs shared with us and stories with the many folks he climbed with.
RIP, the suffering is over. We all have go to sometime.
Thanks to Ron Olevsky for all the help he has given Layton in the last years, and sharing it with us.
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
Yes Ron, thanks for being there for Layton.
Peace
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
One of the very greatest of his generation. Friends and i grew up dreaming of following some of the paths he pioneered.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
Thanks to Ron Olevsky for all the help he has given Layton in the last years, and sharing it with us.

Hear hear.

DMT
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
The generation of which Layton Kor was a part and leading force, were the true pioneers of modern rock climbing in the U.S. Simply put, he helped define what was possible.

In addition to leaving a legacy of scores of beautiful climbs -- which have stood the test of time, his climbing both inspired and terrified many a young climber in succeeding generations.

Let us toast a great climber who fundamentally shaped rock climbing and our experience of it.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
I will always think of Layton as the energetic young man I bouldered with in the Tetons so many years ago. Wearing argyle socks and corduroy knickers, with a stocking cap and alpine sweater he carried on a delightful conversation as he worked the rock. A beautiful memory.

Good for you, Ron!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
It is no consolation to realize that all of us will follow along all too soon, yet few in life will have cut such a wide swath as Kor did. It warmed my heart to see Ron helping him out. RIP
DanaB

climber
CT
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:01pm PT
I'll never forget Bob Culp's description of Layton Kor. Culp was trying to understand why Layton was so good. Culp mentioned eneergy, strength, etc. and then wrote something like " . . perhaps Kor just had the commitment to climb through whatever he found."
Think about it.
Mees

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Thanks for all you gave to climbing Layton
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
R I P Layton the great'un.


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
I did my first climb with Layton in Eldorado in 1963. Personally, when I remember Layton it is not his climbing I think of, but his larger than life energy, humor and cheerfulness. He faced his long and demanding illness with those same qualities.

I was able to visit with Layton one last time three years ago and meet his wife Karen, thanks to Ron Olevsky arranging the logistics. While he died in poverty from medical bills, it was in spite of having insurance. Although a former dirtbag, he had become a devoted family man. Royal Robbins called Layton "the only true Christian" years before either of them became Christians. Although he will be remembered for his climbing career and the raucus stories from his youth, Layton himself, always looked forward. His own inner growth in later years was equally important to him.

I look forward to Cam Burns' bio of Layton and the more complete understanding it will provide, and hope that the climbing community will remember Karen also, who followed Layton to a foreign land and was devoted to him through many demanding and depressing years. She too never gave up.

Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
Personally, when I remember Layton it is not his climbing I think of, but his larger than life energy, humor and cheerfulness. He faced his long and demanding illness with those same qualities.

He will always be with us while the crags stand.

he was one of the most fully realized human beings on the planet. Yes he was arich man at his passing. I loved him.


Precious tribute from steadfast friends...

...perhaps no veneration is as palpable, or loyalty as sublime as the homage spoken from shared adventure and adversity...devoutly held and sustained through the passing succession of years...
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Layton leaves behind a most incredible and enduring legacy, which will be shared by future climbers long after he is gone.

RIP
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
I owe my life to people like Layton, and I will never forget that.

Infinite gratitude to all of my heros.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
I salute the Great with a toast & remembrance ever after. Here's to ya, Layton. A damn good Man.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
yes, long live the king! What a man, what a legend.

Let's hear some personal stories, did you climb with him?
steve shea

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
I'll remember Kor as an Alpinist as much as a rock climber. Diamond routes and Diamond in winter with Wayne Goss and the Eiger Direct etc.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
I just have to say Ron is one of the truest friends you can ever have. His generousity toward Layton has actually overflowed onto me in recent years. I didn't know Layton personally all that well. The first time I met him was in 1965 at the Jenny Lake ranger station in the Tetons. Layton was reporting in after a climb and my brother Greg and I were checking out for something like Irene;s Arete. I was 14 and about 110 lbs, Greg was a year or so older and probably 15 lbs heavier. Of course we instantly recognised that the giant leaning on the counter must be Layton Kor, rendering each of us a degree or two shier than normal. When the ranger asked us what climb we were planning to do, I was barely able to whisper our objective. That's when Layton reached down with one massive paw and scooped me up so I was sitting on the counter and he could look mee in the eye without bending down too far. "Irene's Arete, did you say? That's a pretty big climb for a couple of kids like you..." The ranger on duty knew us pretty well and vouched for our competence. That seemed to satisfy the big guy, and he turned and waalked out of the cabin, saying "Well, have a good climb then, see you later".

I actually climbed with Layton long after his whirlwind 60's period. So I got to see him in action in his natural habitat, and in his full spirit, if somewhat de-tuned from his salad days. But I hadn't seen him in a couple of decade until Ron arrange a rendezvous at Sawmill Bench. in July 2010. Amazingly,together with a stellar cast of characters, Ron had gotten all four of us together who had been on Latok in 1978, and that was accomplishment enough, but just after sunset, we were all sitting around the fire when I sensed a large presense standing beside me. When I turned to look I was looking at someone's knee, about three feet above ground. When I tilted my head all the way back, there stood Layton, smiling down at me, still the genial giant of a man from all those years ago -- Ron's treat for all of us!

Ron arranged one last meeting for Layton and me about a year later. We met for breakfast in Mesquite, Nev, then drove up to Kolob, above Zion. I had done on route there and tried two others. Layton had done none. We drove to the last lookout, and sat on the stone benches, with the whole wide screen panorama of the Kolob spread before us, with only a handfull of routes extant. Layton and I played a game. First, one of us would pick out a line and point out the features that made the line attractive to him, then the next of us would take a turn and so on. It was an enjoyable game, revealing something more of ourselves to each other, both of us knowing we would never again be heading out for an adventure like that again. Layton and I agreed it would have been fun to have shared an adventure or two like that. It was once again the genious of Ron;s generousity that allowed us to have that magical time together, and I'll be forever grateful to him for those moments.

My deepest condolences to Layton;s family and friends...to the entire climbing community, actually.

-Jeff
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Great share Jeff, thanks for the story. Just got off the phone with Bridwell.....he had not heard and is saddened to say the least. Had some good talk with Jim about his good friend. I hope he posts up, he has some great things to say about Layton.
Peace
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
Ron is a hero for what he did for Layton.

I got interested in climbing from the photos of Layton on one of those junk towers (Titan?) out in the desert in an old issue of Nat Geo I saw as a kid. I just kept staring at the pics thinking, I'm going to do that someday. Few ever did it like Layton Kor.

JL
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
Yes, Jeff, Sawmill Bench was a special time among special times.

Jody, Kevin and I kept it a secret that Tom Cochrane was going to fly Layton up to the Latok rendezvous, but then he ended up driving and showing up in the dark.
It was a blast to see everyone surprised by his appearance (especially George), and the stuff we shot the next day ended up in Metanoia!!

I've been trying to reach Jody, and hope that he can get through to Karen.

So sad, so many concerns now. I hope things are going well for you up in Eden. Your grand daughter is a real bundle of joy, all sweetness and light.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
WHen visiting an area, I always seek a Kor climb. You know it will be a good line. Love hearing the stories about him. Condolences to those left behind. Eventually we will follow his lead.
ELM !

climber
Near Boston
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
Ron you a good man for standing up and helping Layton. Jeff...that was an amazing story. Fun to hear how one giant stands in awe of another.
I posted on a local board that someone needs to call George Hurley and let him know. He does not have internet access. You know him Ron. I bet he'de love to get a call from you...even if it's a sad one.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
One of my greatest, and I do mean greatest, memories of all my years in Yosemite are of when Layton stayed with me as my houseguest in 1988. It was his first visit back to Yosemite since he had done the Salathe Wall with Galen Rowell in 1967. I met him at a shuttle bus stop accidentally, and when I enquired where he was staying, he said: "Camp Four". I said: "Nonsense, you are coming up and staying at my house", which he did.

He sent me a copy of his book as a thank you.
What a hero, and what a force of nature.
Climb on, Mr Kor. You were definitely loved.
Credit: Walleye
craig mo

Trad climber
L.A. Ca.
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Rest in peace
Jim Pettigrew

Social climber
Crowley Lake, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
Farewell Layton! Never met you. Barely could I follow your path!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
Layton's loss has been hitting me harder and harder throughout the day, realizing that he's one of the oldest friends I...had...was going to say "have." I didn't meet Layton through climbing, but in the UMC games area (that's the University of Colorado Student Union). We had been playing ping pong after dinner together for months without knowing each other's names. Only one time when we were taking a break did we talk about "other stuff," and that immediately turned to rock climbing. Layton, in addition to being THE world class climber, was a helluva lot of fun as a person. So...to his family, I send my sincerest condolences. And to my other climbing friends in Boulder and beyond, let's all lift a cold one to him next time around. As we always used to say back in the early days: Berg Heil! (Salute the Mountains!).
Conrad

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
with respect
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
Lifting one right now Roger!
Peace
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Another toast to Layton.He will always be remembered. RIP Mr.Kor
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Thanks for everything Layton and cheers to you Ron, Pat, and Rodger, good friends are worth their weight in gold.
WBraun

climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
I love this one.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
Long live the king!

I wonder how many kids were named Layton after him. I know of one, for sure.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
Layton inspired me to get out and do it. I was a kid, reading about how a real climber gets it done.

Here's to you Layton, your spirit keeps driving me on.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
RIP Layton. Condolences to family, friends and the climbing world.

Thanks for the inspiration and all the classics.


Gordo on Shangri La.

[url=[/url" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://s60.photobucket.com/user/davidevans511/media/Gordo29.jpg.html][/url]
ELM !

climber
Near Boston
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:36pm PT
Huntley Ingalls called George Hurley and let him know about Laytons passing. How cool is that!! two legends speaking about the passing of another legend. Call him Ron...George is 78 this year!!
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
When ever we were going to climb something that he put up, we knew it was gunna probably scare us. This was as were moving through the grades.

For instance Kor's Flake 5.7 such a great climb.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/kors-flake/105749071
We always had super great awe and admiration for that guy. He was an icon that I never got to meet. That guy sure got around though. Quite a legacy. He will be missed.

Plaid
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Credit: nature
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
^^^
That's awesome.

Cheers, to one of the most important icons of climbing.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Credit: nature
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
Thanks for posting that pic Werner!

... a classic of Layton and Pat. That and other photos posted on this thread bring the legendary into historical (and human) dimensions.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
nobody threw larger
Thanks Layton
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
I was very saddened to hear this. What a huge loss to the entire climbing community. As others have noted, reading about Kor's adventures played a big part in my personal development as a climber.

Curt
rick d

climber
ol pueblo, az
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Layton-

Thanks for breaking so much new ground in the desert and especially leading that damn chimney pitch on shangri la.

I will try to keep up the good work.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:47pm PT
I had the pleasure of meeting Layton a few years ago. We climbed several first ascents together in western AZ and NV. Layton still had a perpetual enthusiasm for the sport despite being in miserable health. His memory of climbs done 40-50 years ago (with some of you folks posting) was incredible. That man loved to climb rocks.

On one little desert junkoid tower we climbed, my buddy free soloed 30' up the first pitch, placing some cams to help insure Layton had some decent gear. I still vividly recall Layton pounding in a wretched pin ('bong, bong, bong', instead of 'ting, ting'). Then him yelling down, "slack" (as he clipped in the lead rope up above). About 50' up, with no good gear for miles, Layton stepped out of his aiders and free climbed another 30' to a ledge. I'm watching from the ground below, fearing the worst, screaming, "LK get some gear in" when Layton yells out, "this is great, just like the Dolomites!"

I was honored to climb with Layton on one of his last climbs. Ron Olevsky had arranged a trip to a remote sandstone outcrop lost in the desert Southwest. We ended up camping in an area filled with spires and fins. Layton must have been psyched to climb because by sunrise we saw him a mile away, high up on the hillside. Heading directly for the tallest unclimbed spire in the area. The three of us quickly racked and met him at the base of the only line on the formation. The rest is history.

Layton Kor on Spire of Fire.
Layton Kor on Spire of Fire.
Credit: the albatross

We met to go fishing a couple of times. In one instance we met at the park entrance, my buddy and I got turned around and ended up canoeing a mile to meet Layton by the dock. It took maybe 20 minutes to get there. We pull up and ask him how we is doing. "oh, I've caught about 7". I think surely he's jiving with me. Soon enough he hooks one, Karen takes it off the hook and pulls up a basket full of Crappie fish.

Layton was always very grateful and amazed at the kindness and generosity shared by the climbing community. Many people helped out during his last few years and he was always quick to share his gratitude. I know he was especially thankful for Ron Olevsky and Stewart Green for doing so much for him.


Rest in Peace Layton Kor. Your legacy lives on in the hearts and souls of generations.

Albert


Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson

will be in my treasure box the rest of my days..


And THREE CHEERS For RonO and Company!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
Just back from the desert and heard the sad news. A towering figure in American climbing who i didn't really know personally but whom i met on several ocassions. Kudos to Pat Ament and Ron Oleskey. Pat for putting his deeds into words and Ron, especially, for providing support and being Layton's best friend in his years of need.
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. *Everywhere* you go in Colorado Kor was there ages ago and already took the proud line...Everywhere...

-Tom
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
True climbing icon! Did not know much about him until I did the Kor Roof in 2004. After climbing the south face I was psyched on wall climbing and started looking into the history of big walls in North America... Which Layton was a huge part of and inspires me to this day.

RIP, and thanks!
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
R.I.P. A legend and inspiration has passed.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 22, 2013 - 09:57pm PT

Layton, the GREAT ONE!

My condolences to his family and friends.
You'll be missed.
Scole

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 22, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
Kor was one of the biggest figures in North American climbing. When I was four years old I met Latyon at the base of El Cap. I vividly remember seeing a giant of a man with racks of bongs and coils of rope around his neck. He took the time to speak to me: That was when I decided that I would climb El Cap one day.

Throughout my formidable years as an aspiring climber in Yosemite I was repeatedly faced with some monstrosity that Kor had climbed when I was still in diapers. We used to cringe when his name came up on a FA list, as you knew the climbing would be the real deal. Over the years I had the pleasure of climbing a number of great routes that Kor had been on the FA of. Every one was memorable; great lines, spectacular climbing in amazing places.

A salute is due to one of the great heroes of American climbing!

The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Layton was a lucky man - he had the eye and the skills long before America caught on to climbing.
He obviously has the respect and affection of climbers in general - a life well lived.

The Naked Edge is one of my favorite routes anywhere and the name is one of the most classic in American climbing history along with Layton Kor's.

So RIP Layton - your spirit lives on the cleanest of lines.

julia kor

Social climber
makawao, Hawaii
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
I am Julia Kor Layton Kors firstborn daughter, I really appreciate all the respect and kind words regarding the passing of my father, I miss him already and I'm sad that he wasn't well enough to visit his grandsons Dorian and Atom, In Hawaii where me and my brother jaime live.
Layton also has a Wife Karen and a son 20 Arlan, any donations to help with funeral costs and helping with his wife and sons future will be greatfully appreciated.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
It is wonderful to read all the posts by those that climbed with and knew Layton.

Thank you for posting your personal and significant memories of a true American Climbing Legend.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:26pm PT
Thank you sir for all the great climbs you left for us.

Pat and Ron and the Kor family, I hope your memories are bringing more smiles than tears tonight.

I sit here in Bishop after two days of beautiful climbing. Getting back into the life I always loved. This just reminds me how special it all is.

RIP one of our .. words fail.

Layton Kor

the name says it all
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Yes, thank you Ron for the help you gave Layton. And thanks to
everyone who helped him. There have been many individuals who have
played each an important part, and in many different ways.
And thanks to Layton himself for the strength he has given others, the
generosity when he was in no real position to be generous. Back when
Roger Briggs spearheaded that fundraiser for me, for which I remain
grateful and humbled, Layton sent me two hundred dollars. It's one
thing when you happen to have lots of money, and you give. It's another
thing when you have virtually nothing, and you give. An occasion
when I visited him in Arizona I tried to return the favor, to give
him a couple hundred, at a moment when things were a little better
for me. He would have no part of it and refused utterly, presumably
because he knew I was in a similar income bracket as he. The bottom
line of it all is that Layton was (and remains in our hearts and minds)
a very good person, the best of persons, so funny we laughed until our
stomachs ached, and so wild and terrifying at times we could only
muse at our survival. It is difficult to comprehend how some of my
best friends could be Layton, John Gill, Royal Robbins, Tom Higgins, and
such individuals. It's like an aspiring artist falling into the
company and care of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt... Layton
truly was at that order of greatness, a simple, humble, not-so-well-
educated, but brilliant spirit. Just look up at the sky at sunset and
imagine Layton's spirit filled the vast space of the world. He
touched people everywhere, came here for a few years, won our love,
and departed -- but not without leaving that spirit with us. Just
look up and into that infinite light and feel the expanse of
existence that was -- shall we remember at this moment -- inhabited
by one precious friend.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Kor was in the pantheon of superheros of my climbing youth. He was part of the fabric of the climbing enterprise, a tapestry woven from legend and real deeds, and the news of his passing made me catch my breath.

Other than a brief introduction in the Gunks, I didn't know him. But we all knew him, all of us. I understood from his friends and partners that he was a force of nature, but didn't realize until this moment the extent to which his presence and his deeds were somehow a part of my life too, shaping my view of the world of climbing.

And so, not really knowing him and yet indelibly influenced by his character and his climbs, I guess I thought---even though I knew better---that he would always be with us. And now he is not, except in spirit, in the memories of those who really did know him, and in the legacy of climbs bequeathed to us.

And so we are reminded that even our superheros have their turn on the stage, and then the curtain falls. Most of us have had bit parts, but Layton was one of the Leading Men, and in his passing we suffer not only the loss of a man, but also the passing of an era, when walls were very big and we were very small and heroes ventured forth into the vertical unknown.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Ahh, Rich, so beautiful and eloquent as always. That image of
the "stage...." I think when we have the right perspective,
almost everyone has the potential to be someone we love, some
member of the great play, without whom the play would... fail. Of
course you too are one of those significant spirits, my dear Rich.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:00am PT
The Great One


Credit: TomCochrane
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:00am PT
RIP....an amazing legacy he left. We should all be so blessed.
MH2

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:05am PT
Thanks for the many fine personal stories more about the man than the climbs. Back when they walked up under unknown walls and tied in.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:06am PT
Condolences to family and friends, unclimbed mountains of respect to Layton wherever you are now.

Long Live the King !
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:08am PT
It has been just a little over 50 years since I last saw Layton. Yet, to this day I have vivid memories of his camaraderie, boundless energy, drive beyond belief, unending repertoire of Oly and Lena jokes and the ability to drive on tires one tread away from flat. As a young kid to climb with Layton was one of those unique and forever cherished experiences. Giant of a man.

Sentinel- April 11, 1963
Sentinel- April 11, 1963
Credit: guido
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:11am PT
Magnificent, the word that always came to mind when approaching a rock formation, imagining and hoping to see it in such an enlightened state, a Kor's Eye View. My very thoughts, when approaching one of his dreamy endeavours. Thanks for the inspiration. Glad to have been in his presence at the slide presentation at Neptune Mountaineering,
Naked Edge, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado
Naked Edge, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado
Credit: sunnyside
a few years back. What an incredible life.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:17am PT
So sorry to hear about this as I know many of you were close to him. It is amazing the amount of places where his name will always be associated with. Many of those places are the places we all want to go. He obviously knew a good line when he saw one and had the fortitude, strength, and balls to go get it. I think we all dream of finding areas and put up new routes, was anyone better at this?
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:23am PT

Sending out sincere Condolences to Layton's family and friends..........
o-man

Social climber
Paia,Maui,HI
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:28am PT
Layton, we first crossed paths on a construction site in Littleton, Colorado in December of 1978 where you were working as a brick mason.
I worked for the contractor and was delivering materials.
I overheard the guys on your crew call you by your first name and I started putting a few things together like: Layton/brick mason/tall/age?
I was very shy but I told myself” If you don’t ask him, you will forever wonder.”
So I walked over to where you were working and said,” Would your last name be Kor?”
You turned and said” Yes, Do I know you?”
I responded with,” No Sir, but I have done many of your routes in Eldorado, the desert, and Yosemite and I would just like to shake your hand.”
Then you responded” So you’re a climber, huh?”
You put your trowel in the wet mud on your palette and extended your hand. You gave me one firm shake and then picked up your tool and went back to your work.
It was one of those warm sunny winter days in December and it was about noon and I had my lunch box so I joined you and the crew for lunch on at the job site.
When I returned to my regular project my friend and fellow climber Deke Cook was there and I said to him, “I just shook Layton Kor’s hand!”

Years later I met you again at the International Alpine Schools climbing shop when it was right by the pool in Eldorado. Paul Sibley was running the show at that time. Any way you were in the shop and your book was on the shelf. I still to this day regret not picking up that book and asking you to sign it on the spot.
Sorry about this running on Layton but it’s been fun to relive that day when I met a real hero of mine.

Olaf -----you remember the past much better than I do----I did a lot of traveling in those days---the philippines.guam,Hawaii---wish I could do
it all over again.best Layton
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:29am PT
Magnificence
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's Painted wall
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's Painted wall
Credit: sunnyside
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:33am PT
Mountain's Majesty
The Chief's Head, RMNP, Colorado
The Chief's Head, RMNP, Colorado
Credit: sunnyside
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:35am PT
Desert Solitaire
The Mono Doigt
The Mono Doigt
Credit: sunnyside
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:36am PT
Agreed. Well said, Rich.

Curt
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Gloria
Priest, Nunns, and Castleton Towers. Moab, Utah
Priest, Nunns, and Castleton Towers. Moab, Utah
Credit: sunnyside
krahmes

Social climber
Stumptown
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:46am PT
If the testament to a man is his deeds and his friends; this thread proves Layton Kor lived a great life. RIP. Condolences to his family.
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:48am PT
Layton's Foot Steps
Finger of Fate, The Titan
Finger of Fate, The Titan
Credit: sunnyside
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:01am PT
Credit: TomCochrane

Credit: TomCochrane

Credit: TomCochrane

Credit: TomCochrane

Credit: TomCochrane



MisterE

Social climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:05am PT
Feel lucky to have met The Man a couple of years ago at Korfest.

RIP, and kudos to Ron O. for really stepping up to help a legend in his later years.
jabbas

Trad climber
New River, AZ
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:06am PT
My first issue of Climbing that I have is the August '83 issue of Layton leading on the Salathe wall in 1967. It is a superb image of his intensity.His spirit and energy are likely not to be witnessed again. He was everywhere on the rock and his routes are his karma. Peace be with you Layton Kor and your family and friends.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:24am PT
Julia,

How exactly could one contribute ? Is there an address or bank that will take memorial donations, etc ?

Your father's book is one of the most read on my bookshelf, truly a great source of spirit and imagination.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:40am PT
I would like to mention that Julia very generously volunteered to donate a kidney to Layton.
It didn't happen for various medical reasons, but she definitely inherited her father's generous spirit.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:40am PT
Thank you, Jim Brennan, for actually asking the right question here:

"Julia,
How exactly could one contribute ? Is there an address or bank that will take memorial donations, etc ? Your father's book is one of the most read on my bookshelf, truly a great source of spirit and imagination."

There are a few folks currently working on a donation site. Hopefully, I'll have an update tomorrow.

P.S. I've sold a few pics and am waiting on Arlan/Karen to okay a story to be sold. They will get all the cash from those, despite what a few crazies have emailed me.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:41am PT
Yeah, Jan, Julie is a wonderful lady. Just spent an hour on the phone with her. She's more upset than anyone. You are right. Her dad was HUGE in her life. And she's very, very sad.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:42am PT
Thanks Cam for organizing a fund site!

There are stories I would like to mention here and on other threads, but hesitate since I submitted them for your book which is now more important than ever.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:48am PT
Ha, no worries, Jan.

I'm not organizing the fund site per se. Just been talking to my friend Chris Archer about it and apparently he's working on it with some others. Hopefully we can all publicize it.

I just told Julie that besides a couple of really amazing interviews with a couple of guys that don't rank in the Boulder climbing world very much (notably Jack Turner the other day----man, amazing interview) Julie's interview was one of the best/most interesting I'd done. Passionate, concerned, connected. This is a woman that should've had more dad time than any girl I've ever met. And I have 2 daughters. Sorry, Layton, if I need to spend time with them, you're second fiddle, mate.

Jan, let's take this offline. Supertopo is notoriously ugly with people either dominating and pissing on a leg or being pissed upon. You've got my contact info. Best, Cam
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:53am PT
RIP Layton.

The last few years had been a struggle, with all the health issues, and his horizons slowly drawing in. For a person with so much drive and enthusiasm, that was hard for him to take, for others to see.

He climbed and climbed until he was so adept, so skilled that he was admired. He liked to be as good as the best but did not like to be looked on a hero, so he quietly retired from mainstream climbing. It says something that when his health began to decline, forty years later, he reached out to the the climbing community for support. It says much about the climbing community that we welcomed him back, no questions asked, helped as best we could.

Big thanks to Stewart Green and Ron Olevsky for all they've done. Also Chris Archer, who has really stepped up in the last year or so to help.

My last conversation with Layton was two or three weeks ago. I caught him on a good day and he was really upbeat and optimistic, talking about visiting Boulder, seeing old friends. A nice note to part on. A shock that things went downhill so fast from there.

Gaflucci, summit., 2009
Gaflucci, summit., 2009
Credit: crunch
sunnyside

Big Wall climber
earth
Apr 23, 2013 - 02:03am PT
Talon York. Talk Roony, anyway you look at it, he was the real thing.
The Diamond, East Face of Long's Peak, RMNP, Colorado
The Diamond, East Face of Long's Peak, RMNP, Colorado
Credit: sunnyside
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:36am PT
Layton and Karen, fishing east of Kingman, photo by Pat Ament
Layton and Karen, fishing east of Kingman, photo by Pat Ament
Credit: Patrick Oliver
Dom Green

Trad climber
Sheffield UK
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:40am PT
So sorry to to hear this. My thoughts and paryers to his family and friends
jopay

climber
so.il
Apr 23, 2013 - 06:53am PT
Since hearing of his passing I've had time to reflect on the influence he had on my climbing, in a way I felt like a kindred spirit as we were both blue collar, me a plumber he a mason and I like him wanted to do something unclimbed just me and a rack, and if I was ever bold in my climbing I most certainly was inspired by him. It saddens and angers me to hear of his issues with expenses, we pay tens of millions of dollars a year to someone who chases a ball around a field, and here is man who inspired so many, who defined boldness and now saddens the climbing world with his passing. Colorado should have stepped up, he was simply a national treasure. Again my condolences to his family, and a big thanks to Ron and Pat for helping him.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:18am PT
Very sad news indeed. RIP, Mr. Kor.
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:32am PT
Condolences to his loved ones and many friends...

To be mentored by Bridwell in big wall climbing, meant hearing a lot about Layton Kor. Jim would recount tales of Kor climbing anytime he felt the need to inspire us with a "get up there and get er done" "no time to screw around" attitude.

For all of us climbers, the best moments are when there is nothing but the action, there is no hesitation, no "try", just do! Layton Kor seemed to embody, or exude that energy in a way that inspired so many and left a legacy of bold visionary ascents.

RIP to the Great One.

Peter Mayfield
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:36am PT
Am on the road and not online for a few days....so sorry to hear this news...truly one of the icons of our sport...

Contentment comes not from great wealth, but from few wants.

Layton was obviously very rich and gave tremendously to those of us that follow in his boot prints.

Climb on, Mr. Kor.....
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:03am PT
Never met the man but heard all the stories. My condolences to all that enjoyed his energy.
Pewf

climber
Gunnison
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Thanks to everyone who took the time to share personal stories. Rest in peace, Layton Kor.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:25am PT
Wish I could have met the Legend, have heard/read nothing but great things. R.I.P.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:48am PT
I am truly grateful to have known Layton Kor. I knew no one so in tune with the intrinsic joy of climbing. He rose to to the top not by trying to be be the best, but by trying to find the best climbs and climbing them, climb after climb. Such a great heart, it was very rare to hear a word of personal criticism about anyone from him.
What a joy it was to be up on the cliffs with Layton. His energy and confidence was so great that I could ride along with it, The climbing seemed easier and the moves went by so quickly as doubts became less significant.
A great and mighty man, he could laugh like a child. Thank you Layton for opening up more life to me. With tears in my eyes I think of those days, and wonder about Pat Ament and Larry Dalke two young teenage boys who took up climbing and became partners of Kor, how profound that must have been.

Moving to Boulder for a while in my early twenties I heard many stories about Layton. One I like was when he was leaving Estes Park heading home from Boulder in his old Ford when he is passed by a guy in a Porsche. I can imagine the spark in Layton's eye as he took off in pursuit. Soon it was like the Grand Prix except that Kor was in one of those soft springed fifties barges. Winding into a canyon he saw a stretch of road ahead and noted a white car coming up the road towards them with no other cars for a ways behind it. Then as they are slaloming through a series of tight corners the white car shoots by and Layton makes his move passing through totally blind corners leaving the guy with the fancy sport car behind.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:59am PT
Layton not only drove soft springed fifties barges, but on four bald tires also. One of the scariest moments I had with him was the day he decided to see if his car could go a hundred miles an hour on the Boulder-Denver turnpike. It was vibrating so badly, he could barely hang onto the wheel. Laughing in glee, I had the impression he had no idea of the danger. Somehow I managed not to scream.

Layton was a great tease along with all the other facets of his humor. His larger than life personality and ever present humor and enthusiasm carried a person along, often against their better judgement. Yet amazingly, he had a great safety record and didn't suffer injuries or accidents though his companions often died a thousand deaths.

Layton definitely opened me up to a larger view of life. Since I was only 18 when I met him and first time away from home, he had a big impact on my life with his "just go for it" attitude.

ncskains

Ice climber
Alaska
Apr 23, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Rest In Peace Layton, For ever your legacy and passion will live with the beautiful creation of your routes.. Thank you for all you have given to our community.

-Nate
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 23, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
Some classic routes Layton was a big part of in the heady days of the early 60s. Chouinard, Roper and Denny as climbing mates doesn't get much better.
1st ascent- Coonyard to the Oasis 1960
1st ascent- Coonyard to the Oasis 1960
Credit: guido
1st ascent West Buttress El Cap-May 17 1963
1st ascent West Buttress El Cap-May 17 1963
Credit: guido
3rd ascent Nose El Cap-May 30th 1963
3rd ascent Nose El Cap-May 30th 1963
Credit: guido
Registers courtesy of the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley Mnt Records Division.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Here's some Kor lore by Layton himself in 1965 after our ascent of the Leaning Tower:

[url=[/url" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://s489.photobucket.com/user/climber76/media/Kor1_zps1158251e.jpg.html][/url]

Tom Fender is "bumper", get it?
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 23, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
A little more lore by Kor:

[url=[/url" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://s489.photobucket.com/user/climber76/media/Kor2_zps16f75969.jpg.html][/url]

[url=[/url" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://s489.photobucket.com/user/climber76/media/Kor3_zps8cd940f5.jpg.html][/url]
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 23, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
What a stature in more ways than one! We were all suitably impressed by the first couple of his routes that we did in the 70's such that we then always took those ratings with a grain of salt.

We all pass this way, it's the walk that counts and his did...
Double D

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
My condolences to his family and close friends. Kor was definitely a legend and inspiration to me and many generations of climbers all over the west. Just thinking about how many thousands have passed through the Kor roof on Washington's column and have been in awe of how he could drill bolts that spread out. A giant of a man.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 23, 2013 - 09:16pm PT
Just got back to a list of phone calls and a stack of emails.

I spoke with Jody, and as soon as I get any info on services I will post it here.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:16pm PT

Thanks for posting those letters Don- pure gems for sure.
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Apr 23, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
RIP Layton
Condolences to Layton's family and friends
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
Tough evening. First I met with Mike Stults in Cedar, who hadn't gotten word, then I talked with my first Zion partner from more than 37 years ago, Kevin Kelly, who did many routes with Layton and introduced me to him in the '80s. He didn't know either.

Sorry to those I have failed to get back to, please forgive me.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
Ah yes, the Sink. That is where I first met Layton.
John Morton

climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
Thanks to all for the photos, letters and remembrances - so many of us owe so much to Layton Kor.

All I can think of to add to these tributes is the observation that I always thought of Kor as the independent man, not part of any faction of climbers, just a voracious consumer of hard climbs wherever he could find them, with whomever was available to pay out rope fast enough. Long live his memory.
John
vôo

climber
Denver, CO
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Rest in peace great one

Condolences to friends and family
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Kor, Mickey's Beach early 60s. Age 21-22, plus or minus a climb or two.........
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 23, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
We were young once and climbers.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:07am PT
Layton with a couple of his best friends, Allen Hill and Rosemary "Ducky" Alder.
Allen Hill, Layton, Rosemary Alder, Chris Archer's house, August 2012
Allen Hill, Layton, Rosemary Alder, Chris Archer's house, August 2012
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:11am PT
Layton pointing out a rude-sounding dish on the menu. Boulder, CO, Aug...
Layton pointing out a rude-sounding dish on the menu. Boulder, CO, August 2012.
Credit: Cameron Burns
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:19am PT
Yes, we were young once and climbers.


North Face of the Matron, Boulder, January 1964
North Face of the Matron, Boulder, January 1964
Credit: Larry Dalke
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:24am PT
"Burns!!!! What did I tell you? This is Eldorado!!! Vegemite is not al...
"Burns!!!! What did I tell you? This is Eldorado!!! Vegemite is not allowed!!!!" Well, I did get him to try Vegemite once, but it didn't exactly flow.....
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:38am PT
A truly great crew of blokes I've gotten to know and enjoy time with: ...
A truly great crew of blokes I've gotten to know and enjoy time with: Let's see...sh#t, I need glasses more than ever. John Auld, Harvey Carter, Layton Kor, Ray Northcutt, Dave Rearick (the older farts have to stand you'll notice; the younger blokes are s
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:40am PT
What the? I can only do two lines of cutline per pic? The young guys sitting while the old blokes stand are Mic Fairchild, Stu Ritchie (I think), Chris Archer, and Steve Bartlett. Pic by me. I pushed a button and made history. (2009, at Steve and Fran Bartlett's placce in Boulder)
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:46am PT
That's a frickin' GROUP, right there. Whoa.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:49am PT
"CAM-RONNN!!! You're kidding, right? Another photo?" "Layton, chill. I...
"CAM-RONNN!!! You're kidding, right? Another photo?" "Layton, chill. It's a 125th of a second that you and I won't be drinking beer with Allen and Chris down at the Sink. You can live with that." "Okay, you're right."
Credit: Cameron Burns
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:59am PT
Patrick Oliver poetically waxed:

"Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt... Layton
truly was at that order of greatness, a simple, humble, not-so-well-
educated, but brilliant spirit. Just look up at the sky at sunset and
imagine Layton's spirit filled the vast space of the world. He
touched people everywhere, came here for a few years, won our love,
and departed -- but not without leaving that spirit with us. Just
look up and into that infinite light and feel the expanse of
existence that was -- shall we remember at this moment -- inhabited
by one precious friend."

Toast to Layton the Great 'Un! Layton was one of a kind and we are fortunate to have been blessed by his life.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:02am PT
Four guys we all know and love: John Auld, Harvey, Layton, Ray Nortcutt. 2009. Steve Bartlett's house.
2009: John Auld, Some bloke named Harvey, some bloke named Kor, and Ra...
2009: John Auld, Some bloke named Harvey, some bloke named Kor, and Ray Nortcutt....pic by my Camera (all rights and lefts reserved).
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:05am PT
Summer 2010, in Boulder, I scoped a new route: The Ingalls-Kor. Turned out to be just a coupla fun loving guys hanging out in a parking lot and wanting lunch......
Summer 2010, in Boulder, I scoped a new route: The Ingalls-Kor. Turned...
Summer 2010, in Boulder, I scoped a new route: The Ingalls-Kor. Turned out to be just a coupla fun loving guys hanging out in a parking lot and wanting lunch......I owe both of them a huge amount. God bless, Layton.
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:13am PT
John Auld, Dave Rearick, Ray Northcutt, Harvey Carter. 2009. Steve Bar...
John Auld, Dave Rearick, Ray Northcutt, Harvey Carter. 2009. Steve Bartlett's place in Boulder
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:15am PT
Layton Kor looking at mock-up to Steve Bartlett's book on desert tower...
Layton Kor looking at mock-up to Steve Bartlett's book on desert towers. Layton's comment (to me): "Wow, this is really, really great stuff."
Credit: Cameron Burns
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:15am PT
Great pics!

...that's an exceptional photo-chronicle, Jan.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:33am PT
"C'mon, Cam. Let's get outta here. I hardly recognize the place these ...
"C'mon, Cam. Let's get outta here. I hardly recognize the place these days."
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:36am PT
"Ah, finally. But let's not hang around out here. The action is inside...
"Ah, finally. But let's not hang around out here. The action is inside...."
Credit: Cameron Burns
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:37am PT
Beautiful TRIBUTE thread here.. Thanks to all of you for the awesome photos and stories..
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:41am PT
wow! Great photos Cam!

Outstanding!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Most incredible page on ST right now, HANDS DOWN!

Wow Jan, you're getting hugged by the handsomest guy on the planet right there!

And he didn't even have to try, or have REI make-up specialists working him over before the shoot.

You both look amazing!

Cameron, those are such priceless pictures too!
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Credit: Allen Hill
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
Allen that is a fantastic photo and very fitting.
Anastasia

climber
Home
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Allen Hill, that's the best picture EVER. Beautiful in so many ways.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Bump
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
Credit: Allen Hill
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:55pm PT
RIP Layton. We will always remember you!
leo Dickinson

Mountain climber
UK
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
Climbed with him in 66 in the Dollies on the Tre Cima.. then literally bumped into him years later on Guam ! I was looking for Spanish gold for a Discovery film - he was looking for the meaning of life..

He told me stories of when & how he climbed with Don Whillans. Don was 5ft tall Layton more like 6.6 and with a long reach at that... I suffered the same disadvantages as Don when following the master on aid climbing. I asked him how Don faired.... "He Jumped" ha ha... Leo Dickinson
Burt Bronson

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
A TRUE LEGENDARY BASTION OF THE HARDMAN SPORT OF SERIOUSLY SERIOUS ROCK CLIMBING. RIP.
weezy

climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:05pm PT
these pictures are awesome

thanks for posting cam, allen, jan, etc.
squish

Social climber
bc
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
I never met him, however while doing research he kept coming up and I ended up being quite fascinated by him and where he went. My friend was in A. Guam and met a guy in a bar with an old t-shirt on it relating to climbing.
After discussion about any local climbing he said his name was Layton.
I was like you met Layton Kor in a f'ing bar in Guam?
Then his name came back with his illness.
He did some climbing in Canada as well.

Glad to see he was shown love, compassion and respect in his last years.
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
Visit with Layton in 2009.
Visit with Layton in 2009.
Credit: pix4u
John Ely

Trad climber
DC
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Credit: John Ely

Credit: John Ely

My very first big wall was the south face of washington column when I was 17 with my high school buddy John Middendorf in 1978. He was already over 6 feet tall and got to do the kor roof. Here's a shot of him rapping after fixing that and the next pitch, and one of two happy people who have finished their first big wall. Layton Kor did routes that can provide that much pleasure for young adventurers. His spirit will continue to live. Unless this fantastic route someday goes the way of the Bonatti Pillar, I predict that his spirit will live for as long as humans remain on this earth...
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
Layton in action in the Bugaboos, 1960
Layton in action in the Bugaboos, 1960
Credit: pix4u
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
Crimpergirl, MalDaly,Lauren Petersen, Jorge, Bobert, Joanne <br/>
Layton, ...
Crimpergirl, MalDaly,Lauren Petersen, Jorge, Bobert, Joanne
Layton, Huntly, Pepper, BrokedownClimber
Arlen Kor.
Credit: philo
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Great pics everyone!

Layton on the sharp end 1/2010
Layton on the sharp end 1/2010
Credit: the albatross

Note the tag LK had sewn on his beanie.  It says "BOLD"
Note the tag LK had sewn on his beanie. It says "BOLD"
Credit: the albatross
Lewy

Trad climber
Chattanooga,tn
Apr 24, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
So sad...
Mad69Dog

Mountain climber
Superior, CO
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
I really need to dig through my photo archive - Dave Dornan passed me some shots of Layton he took in and around Eldo. I think they were taken in 1960 or thereabouts. Dave had been guiding in the Tetons for a few years and moved to Boulder to attend CU, where he met Kor. Kor didn't really understand rope management according to Dave, so Dave mentored him. (and made him get rid of his lightweight nylon "climbing rope") Realize that at that time, Dave was very proud of his own abilities, so when it only took Layton "a couple of months" to surpass him, it took some ego adjustment on Dave's part. Dave liked to tease Layton for whining at the crux of the Yellow Spur.

The last time I saw Layton, he was down-soloing a pitch I was having trouble getting the nuts up to lead. We all play different roles in this existence.

Rest in peace.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
In his favorite chair at my house. Many a climbing book was read in it...
In his favorite chair at my house. Many a climbing book was read in it.
Credit: Allen Hill
dkish

Trad climber
AZ
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
What a bad ass...he will always ROCK!
Erik Vance

Trad climber
Mexico City, DF
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Rest in peace, Mr. Kor. I only knew you from doing your routes. I suppose that's the best way, though. Keep climbing.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
Those photos are very special. In particular Cameron, I really enjoyed the ones with Dave Rearick. How is he doing? I worked for him when I was majoring in math at CU in the Module Dept. and haven't seen him in years.

Another question for anyone that knows. I'm ashamed to say (as a long-time admirer of Boulder climbing legends) that I don't know if Larry Dalke is still around. I haven't seen his name or picture here. Does anyone know. Certainly if he is, he would be interested in the news.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
Off belay, Layton. You left us a legend. Well done.
Phred

Mountain climber
Anchorage
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
1964 FA of Burkett Needle.

If today's climbers have achieved greatness it is because they stood on the shoulders of yesterday's giants, such as Layton Kor, truly a giant among men.
eagle

Trad climber
new paltz, ny
Apr 24, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
rip laton. i enjoyed reading about your adventures from back in the day
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 24, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
There are some nice longer tributes to Layton on Climbing.com

Two of them come from cousins of his. Kordeen Kor whom I heard much about from Layton in recent years, fills in many of the missing years when Layton was away from climbing and living in the Phillipines and Guam.

Both cousins touch on something not mentioned about him yet.

Kordeen Kor noted,

"He never wanted to flaunt his accomplishments and often spoke to me about how he was not interested in making his life and climbing into a spectacle."

and third cousin Barry Johnson wrote:

"The thing I learned from Layton over the brief 4 ˝ years I knew him was to never stop exploring. Don’t rest or brag about what you’ve already done. Always look for the undone and do it. Keep your mind active with learning new things. Take time for other people. And “Getting old is no fun”. "
JU Vegas

climber
Las Vegas, NV
Apr 24, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
I'm glad to see Layton's family writing about the non-climbing side of him. His legendary status in alpinism has taken on a life of its own, and has spun into something very grand. But it shouldn't be forgotten that his super human drive was also directed at love and devotion for his family. I met Layton only about seven years ago, and had the great fortune to rope up with him a couple of times, on virgin rock, of course. Due to kidney failure, walking winded him in minutes, but he came alive on the vertical terrain, navigating with grace over cracks and choss alike. Then the months and years robbed his body of the strength to hike and climb. He was pale and struggled to be comfortable, even confined to home. What irony for this great mountain man to be challenged in this way! But he answered me that he continued to live for the love of his wife and son. The valor that drove him to outrageous vertical places, was now directed toward places of the heart.

Jorge and I were blessed to have an afternoon with Layton, hours before he passed. He slept some. He talked some, and was conscious to the end, I'm told. He refused to be drugged up because he wanted every precious minute with his wife and son. Let us send our thoughts and prayers to Karen and Arlan, for Layton is irreplacable.

Joanne Urioste
cornel

Big Wall climber
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Apr 24, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
I will never forget reading an article about a climb Layton did with (Pat Ament I believe) that captured his essence. That amazing inspirational spirit of his...never forgot it. Layton catalyzed a new mindset for my approach to climbing..after that. Focus and get the hell up that pitch.. Attack it, no wasted energy over thinking it...dawdling..especially big walling...focus and go, now! Thank you Layton...you improved my climbing...my life
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Apr 24, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
Condolences to family and friends. The Kor stories are legend.

As others have said, Ron O went the distance.

Peace to you Layton.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Well, I haven't quite gone the distance yet until I see that Arlan and Karen have the resources that they need to go on.

A friend of hers is coming out from CA tomorrow to help her. Some elders from her church came by. They will have a service, but Karen told Jody today that she wants there to be a climbers memorial service at some point in the future, and that he and I should plan a good location.

So for those who were anticipating a trip shortly in order to pay your respects, hold off.
I'll back and forth with Jody and some friends in Boulder. Well put something special together.

For now Karen is a bit overwhelmed, but she has people helping her.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Great photos Albert!
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Allen your photos are equal treasures. As are Camerons' and all the other photos, letters and memories posted. It is incredible how many lives and hearts over so many generations that Layton touched. And his spirit lives on in the countless cliffs Layton sought out all over the world.

Joanne that was special roping up with you and Layton and Kevin on that lost desert fin. I wish I had some pics to share. Even with his debilitating health challenges Layton wanted to keep climbing as long as he could which is what he did. That man sure loved to climb rocks.

Layton was far more than just simply a climber. We spent hours discussing fishing which seemed every bit as much a passion. He told me about spear fishing in Guam. He talked about frying fish in the Black Canyon and in the Wind Rivers at the base of those mighty walls. And of course we yucked it up about the local fishing. We got out fishing a couple times, once with great success another with a strike out, such is the sport.

Layton would always comment on any fancy masonry we drove near. Having seen the brickwork on his front porch one can only imagine the sort of masterpieces he created.

I miss that man, he sure was one of a kind.

Ron please keep us posted on any sorts of ceremonies. And let us know what we can do to help Karen and Arlan.


Albert Newman

Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:04am PT
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/support-for-layton-kor/55319

Chris Archer and Steph Davis just set this up. Kudos to Chris and Steph.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:07am PT
Thanks for the link, Cameron. Karen and Arlan will need some support.

Steph arranged for a pair of approach shoes for Layton a couple years back. I think they were size 13 double wides.

Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 03:18am PT
Two fine friends, Layton Kor and Huntley Ingalls
Two fine friends, Layton Kor and Huntley Ingalls
Credit: Patrick Oliver
photo by Pat Ament
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 03:23am PT
Layton took this photo of me &#40;Pat Ament, left&#41; and Larry Dalke...
Layton took this photo of me (Pat Ament, left) and Larry Dalke, circa 1960
Credit: Patrick Oliver
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 03:29am PT
Karen and Layton &#40;photo by Pat Ament&#41;
Karen and Layton (photo by Pat Ament)
Credit: Patrick Oliver
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:52am PT
Pat, those are special.

I found it very difficult to get Layton to smile for a photo. Even Huntley Ingalls grumbled about how hard it was to get a nice portrait, fifty years ago, because Layton would never keep still.

Physically he slowed down, but his mind would still start pacing up and down, just as fast as ever.

Thanks!
NickCafe

climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Great photos, Pat! Layton frequently had a twinkle in his eye, most cameras weren't sensitive enough to capture it!
Betty Uno

Mountain climber
Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 07:35pm PT

I am very sorry for this loss, but I feel he hasn't gone far.

He seemed to me like an earth spirit, in touch with the heart of the earth.





Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Some rare appearances on this thread.

Just had a long talk with Karen. She is strong (has been alone before).
Jody and Chris are helping immensely.

I'll probably put together a memorial celebration out in the desert this fall when things cool down, but Chris is down with having a special gig in Boulder with some of Layton's partners who might have difficulty with travel.
It is not written in stone but they are talking about saturday , June 8.

(feedback from Boulderites welcome)
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Dan McGee suggested I post this. Thanks, Dan, for a great image.

Layton taming the local wildlife. Another thanks to Steve Bartlett for...
Layton taming the local wildlife. Another thanks to Steve Bartlett for getting these together.
Credit: Dan McGee
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
Another one from Dan.

Dan: "he's getting ice-runoff into my 5 yr old daughters breakfast mug...
Dan: "he's getting ice-runoff into my 5 yr old daughters breakfast mug..! sorry, Nanda, you'll get it back when we get home..!" Dan, my friend, you're busted! Nanda? P.S. Thanks to Steve Bartlett for getting these images together.
Credit: Dan McGee
foxo

Trad climber
ashland, or
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
Layton is THE reason I got in to this wacky business of climbing so many adventures ago. Thanks man.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Another one from Dan McGee: Layton training llamas.
Another great pic from Dan McGee. Again thanks to Steve Bartlett for p...
Another great pic from Dan McGee. Again thanks to Steve Bartlett for pulling these together.
Credit: Dan McGee
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:08am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#300564
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Layton sorting out for an attempt at a tower in March 2009.
Layton sorting out for an attempt at a tower in March 2009.
Credit: Cameron Burns
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:44am PT
I am all for a Boulder memorial, headed by Chris and the Boulder group.
Layton wanted to go to Boulder, was really desiring another visit, and
spoke to me about it often. He and I made some plans, and life got in the
way. He loved Boulder, what with so many good memories, so many friends,
so many climbs and places. And of course that Mackay Auditorium show
that was so well advertised and so successful and reminded him of how
large his climbing family in that spiritual home actually is.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:46am PT
I'd be into some kinda memorial gathering.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:54am PT
Here's a pic of three wonderful people. Taken by my dear old dad, whom...
Here's a pic of three wonderful people. Taken by my dear old dad, whom I dragged out to Kingman to meet Layton.
Credit: Kerry L. Burns
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 03:26am PT
Now that's a great shot. Thanks Cameron and Kerry!
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 26, 2013 - 08:50am PT
And, Pat, we both sincerely apologize for the "lost graf." Cheers, Cam
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
"lost graph?" I don't know what you mean.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
More than just a few people have said I should post some
of my writing about Layton, starting with the old
classic "the Black Canyon with Kor." I have some
newer pieces as well and perhaps a few excerpts
from a new book I'm working on that has a chapter about Layton.
I wonder if this is the right place or if anyone
would have objections?
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Apr 26, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
Pat- please post up.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 26, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
Layton with a mustache! I missed that phase.

Meanwhile there is a quote from Arlan his son, over on the fundraising site that I liked a lot.

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/support-for-layton-kor/55319


"Rock climbing to my father was a passion which he loved and held dear ‘til his older years, sharing many experiences and adventures with close friends and making great friendships along the way within the climbing community which are displayed in many publications. He always treated each and everyone he met with respect and took an interest in them not for what they accomplished but rather for who they were as a person."
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
Layton Kor’s death is an enormous loss for the climbing world. Condolences to his family and friends.

One of his most impressive feats was leading the hardest sections on the first ascent of the Eiger Direct in 1966. Among an all star cast of climbers, it was Kor who took the crux. From Ullman’s
book, Straight Up:

“…Layton, though new to the [Eiger] had a reputation as a cragsman that was almost legendary. In the plan of battle, it was he who would lead on the worst of the verticalities and overhangs.”
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 26, 2013 - 07:46pm PT


I doubt Layton would want us to portray him as a Greek god, a man without flaw, who was the best climber ever, and so forth. He was human, in that most lovely of human ways. That was why we, his closest friends, loved him. He was unique, his personality and spirit large, his humor unrelenting. Sometimes we laughed just as hard when he was deadly serious. Everything we did with Layton was an adventure. We knew we were in the presence of a wonderful madman, as much comic genius as heroic figure. After everything, Layton was a gentleman. That was a progression, from the somewhat typical selfishness and ego of youth to the more refined sensibilities of experience.

More than a few people have wished I would post the following piece. It is considered in some circles a climbing classic and has been published in a dozen places or more. It might be one of the most famous climbing pieces. It first appeared in Mountain Magazine in about 1977, then in the anthology "The Games Climbers Play." Of all places, it made it into a Czechoslovakian anthology of best climbing articles. The editor wrote me that everyone thought it the best piece in the collection. I made a video reading of the piece, by request, for the Taos film festival, and so forth. I have heard from people far and wide who have told me how much they enjoyed this article or how it affected their life. It was a bit controversial initially. One fellow thought I portrayed Layton as malevolent. Those who have known Layton realize I captured his essence with a certain unwitting precision. Self-conscious, Layton never liked portraits of himself, especially physical descriptions, but in time I think he understood and at last did appreciate this piece.

It is important to remember I was young, and this was an early attempt by an aspiring writer. It is not terribly well written, from a true literary standard. When I look at it I realize how much could be improved, how much shorter I might have made it, and obvious things I now see with the eye of a more experienced writer. In typing this piece, I have made a few small edits at minor, obviously awkward places. Mostly it is the same quickly-scribbled piece I wrote in about 1977 and that people have praised for its mad fun. At the time I wrote it, I had been reading Poe's story about Pym and patterned my words after that somewhat ecstatic language.




THE BLACK CANYON
WITH KOR


By Pat Ament


**"I...let myself down rapidly, striving by the vigor of my movements to banish the trepidation which I could overcome in no other manner ... But presently I found my imagination growing terribly excited by thoughts of the vast depths yet to be descended ... It was in vain I endeavored to banish these reflections and to keep my eyes steadily bent upon the flat surface of the cliff before me. The more earnestly I struggled not to think, the more intensely vivid became my conceptions, and the more horribly distinct. At length arrived that crisis of fancy, so fearful in all similar cases, the crisis in which we begin to anticipate the feelings with which we shall fall -- to picture to ourselves the sickness, and dizziness, and the last struggle, and the half swoon, and the final bitterness of the rushing and headlong descent. And now I found these fancies creating their own realities, and all imagined horrors crowding upon me in fact. I felt my knees strike violently together, while my fingers were gradually but certainly relaxing their grasp. And now I was consumed with the irrepressible desire of looking below. I could not, I would not, confine my glances to the cliff; and, with a wild, indefinable emotion, half of horror, half of a relieved oppression, I threw my vision far down into the abyss. For one moment my fingers clutched convulsively upon their hold, while, with the movement, the faintest possible idea of ultimate escape wandered, like a shadow, through my mind -- in the next my whole soul was pervaded with a longing to fall ... "
--Edgar Allan Poe**


The passage of Poe's from his Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, brings to mind certain feelings I had the misfortune -- or fortune -- to experience in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at age sixteen under the unique guidance of Layton Kor, my climbing partner, who at that time was twenty-five. The adventure was a complete fiasco and has become somewhat of a legend among climbers. The story has undoubtedly been exaggerated or capriciously altered over the years, but it nevertheless retains without error the underlying fact that an extraordinary, absurd, humorous, stupid, and altogether dangerous ordeal took place. It is with partial guilt, partial urging of conscience, and a desire to reveal vintage Kor that I give this pseudo-Poe narrative of the unsuccessful trip to, and our preposterous flail upon, the walls of Colorado's Black Canyon.

Layton had recovered instantaneously from an unbelievable, backwards, head-over-heels leader fall off the Bastille Crack in Eldorado. My hands, however, were blistered nearly shut from the serious rope burns I suffered when I caught him. I was warned by a doctor to stay away from the rock for at least a month, as the blisters were in danger of becoming infected, but Layton was impatient and wanted to depart immediately for the Black Canyon. He showed me a fuzzy snapshot of a two-thousand-foot vertical and overhanging wall called the Chasm View and reassured me I was tough. I wanted to be with him, and Layton's wide eyes and warm laugh were very persuasive. Just the thought of such a first ascent was enough to take my mind off the burns and diminish, in my idiocy and immaturity, all pain.
It was early summer, and the three hundred or so mile drive from Boulder was hot. The old, blue Ford had bald tires, and Kor gunned it up to eighty miles an hour most of the way. His eyes widened, and his face contorted, as he drove. His huge form leaned over the steering wheel, and he gazed nervously ahead. He held a peanut butter sandwich between his long legs and knobby knees and shook to the tune of rock n' roll which blasted out of the radio. I sat gripping the seat, made peanut butter sandwiches at Kor's command and, at one point, agreed to take part in a handshake contest. Two hundred pounds backed up his grip and about a hundred and thirty were in mine. My blisters burned at the thought, and I was squeezed out like a flame. A poor, hapless chipmunk was flattened as it attempted to cross the highway.

The final part of the drive was a fifty-mile dirt road above cliffs and steep drops which were the beginning of the Black Canyon. I was terrorized by this road, its unending, sharp curves, and the drag-racer behind the wheel. I couldn't chew or swallow, and a lump of laughter and peanut butter stayed in my mouth for what seemed like an hour.

We arrived at the north rim of the canyon late in the day, parked, and after a brief walk were able to peer down our wall. The eerie, distant roar of the Gunnison River which flowed far below, combined with the peculiar, lonely fragrance of sage, the desert-like silence, and hot wind, began to stir in me a fear of the remote area. My heart sank at the thought of having to catch another Kor fall or of encountering one of the huge, horribly rotten, sickly pink, pegmatite bands Layton had described, during the drive, with dread and superstition.

Layton snatched me up into his arms. He pretended to have gone mad and to want to throw me over the edge. His fun soon was over, for I shot away from the exposed place like a rabbit... desperate to escape his mock chuckles. I returned and was from then on prepared to bear with personality and fortitude all further absurdity which was destined to occur.

After we briefly explored a steep, alien gully which appeared superficially to be a feasible descent route into the canyon, we spent a bad night on the rim. It was anticipation of the climb that kept us awake, also hunger. We had practically depleted our supply of bivouac food -- the peanut butter -- and would have been foolish to break into a small ration of meat Layton brought in addition. Kor was immensely energetic and would not be discouraged by heat or hunger. Conspiring to stimulate me in the morning with a cup of boiling tea, he exploded his small stove and nearly burned down a picnic table. This put him in a bad humor, and he stared at me with a look as insidious as a sly sun that rose and began to draw the first beads of sweat from my forehead. We sorted pitons, slings, and carabiners, loaded bivouac gear into a large haul bag, filled a couple of water bottles, stuffed bolts and provisions into an old pack, and headed off to descend the steep gully.

He was obsessed. He wanted to get at it, to purge his soul on rock. He loved to go out on a limb, to be cleansed and dirtied by the deep shade and undiscerning power of his singular, high asylums. A sensation of emptiness, almost anger, flowed through me, as I questioned my role in the game. All doubt, all shadow, fell prey to fear -- fear of Kor! He stared at me silently.

My thoughts were to face the fear, to move into Layton's world. I needed to help him find this route and if necessary be led blindly by the master. The descent was hideous! The sultry gully into the canyon was filled with soil and sticker bushes. Small whimpers in a fretful, broken voice were my sound of protest. As we proceeded down into the expanse of the gully, we found it suffocating. It was a treacherous sort of chute, eventually becoming slippery walls on all sides. Layton had loaded onto me what seemed an enormous amount of rope and hardware -- plus the old pack. It was not easy to breathe, as slings choked me and pack straps tore at my shoulders.

The heat was unbearable. An hour into the morning, I was ready to consume our entire two-day supply of water in a sitting. I was anxious, as I watched Kor climb downward without a belay. He moved smoothly down the precipitous, slabby walls of the gully. The weight on my shoulders and around my neck made it impossible to duplicate his steps without great strain. At one difficult section, a tiny slip would have meant a fall of about eight hundred feet. This took a lot out of me, and I worked up a horrible sweat. My burned hands stung as they scraped across crystals. I listened to the river crash over boulders below. The sound slashed at my thoughts. I groped at loose flakes, contemplated the anguish of one coming off in my hand. I wanted to do well, to win respect, and cling successfully to Kor's dream. My muscles quivered. Layton lowered himself down bulges, over ledges, and around bizarre heaps of gravel. He descended confidently, no trouble with his load. He ignored my struggles. He was full of hope. I was a scorpion. Light, gray rock, the blue sky....
Layton was for a moment outside his utopianism and thirsty but could not relax for his thought about getting to the base of the route. He carried the bottles of water in the haul bag, and I prayed he would save a sip. I licked the parched lining of my mouth. Who was this maniac? Why did I permit myself to go along with him?

At last we were at the base of the route. We dripped with sweat and tried to solve the puzzle of rope and snarl of slings that bound me like a squid. My hands were soft and white and oozed with puss that drained from a couple of broken blisters. Kor allowed me a swallow or two of water, which only antagonized my thirst, then tied-in and led upward. A towering illusion, tall as a man, with white T-shirt and white pants, long socks, and kletterschuhe, hung on an overhang above my head. The jeweled light of the sun scorched my thoughts. I had, above me, a kind of surrealism -- a creature whose ability on rock matched his vision -- Layton Kor, spread-eagle and silhouetted, his senses suspended momentarily but bodily powers frenzied. I squeezed the rope, then fed it out as he led swiftly up an awkward crack. The man was driven, afraid to fall, afraid to fail, tormented, all-powerful in a search for rich experience. He ascended with imagination, inclined to go the hard way when a choice existed, tense, uneasy, jumpy, jittery, critical, happy. He was awesome -- more so than the wall -- and disappeared up into the lair of an overhang. I sat like a piece of cactus, sweltering. Stifled in a furnace of talus, I awaited the restless cry, "Come on up!" The river was a hundred and fifty yards below and glistened even in the shadows. To scramble down to it for a cold drink was an idea dismissed in view of the long uphill hike back.

As I followed the pitch, attacking strenuous pulls and long reaches, my worst opponent, I discovered, was the old pack. When I thought I was in perfect balance, I would start to fall backward and expended precious energy to recover. My hands were already a mess, and it was difficult even to hold a piton hammer -- much less pound out pins. I was unable to retrieve the first piton, although I worked at it to the point of exhaustion. Convinced Layton had over-driven the thing, I left it. I began to feel extremely insecure and yelled for tension. I received slack. My voice was overruled by the superior authority of the river. When I reached Layton he asked, "You get that pin out?" I trembled and replied, "I have it here somewhere." He was too big for belay ledges and looked uncomfortable hooked into one. He complained of aching feet and insisted he do the next lead. I was too busy contemplating my lie to argue, so belayed. He stemmed over an impressive overhang and vanished into the heights.

The route seemed to have been built for Kor, the holds, I found, always out of reach. Layton suggested I take the third lead. It was incentive to forget for a while the sorry state of my palms. The hammer was too painful to hold, but the rock, while steep, relented in difficulty. I was able to climb unprotected to a stance about one hundred feet straight up. Kor was impressed with this but irritated when I could not haul the bag. My hands simply could not take it. He hurried up the pitch, and together we tugged at the clumsy duffel bag. That was the end of my leading, I was informed.
It was at this point war began. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Kor yelled, "Where’s your hard hat?!" I answered, "My what?" He thrust a handful of rope against the wall with such force I thought we would both fall off. He kicked the wall and, looking as if he was going to strangle me, shouted, "No one climbs in the Black Canyon without a hard hat!" So intimidated by this outburst, I failed to notice he was not wearing one either. I indiscreetly let pass, at this moment, a bit of silent although untimely flatus of so foul and putrid an odor that all oxygen was removed from the vicinity of our perch. It took but an instant (which seemed an eternity) for the very bad message to reach Kor’s nose. Now I almost unroped with the intention of jumping rather than face the frightful demon that stood gagging so near at hand. He hovered over me, his face puffing with rage. He let out a chilling scream and raced up the wall, not bothering to place pitons where he knew I would need them. I nearly vomited when he threw the right side of his body into a ferocious, dizzy, overhanging crack and forced his way up it as the rope and haul-line dangled down to me like cobras.

He would climb this conscientiously, I reasoned. There was no desire to die here ... was there? I was delirious and needed water. It was surely a hundred degrees. I removed the pack from my back and set it atop the haul bag which sat comfortably on the stance without an anchor. I forced a hand and arm into the bag and pulled out a bottle. As I belayed with one hand, I twisted the top off with my teeth and began to guzzle… A muted "off belay" from above told me I had best get the bottle back into the bag fast. To steal water might be punishable by more unprotected leading. As I fumbled with the bottle and bag, the haul line grew tight. Just as the bottle disappeared into the opening, up went the big bag atop which my pack teetered, to my horror and dismay, where I had set it. The heavy bundle remained intact and was dragged over a bulge and upward into a place hidden from my view where, by all indications, Kor was losing his mind with anger. "Oh my God, my arms are numb," he raved.

I had to keep my wits about me. A display of skill, I thought, might save me from the wrath of the fiend above. But it was all I could do to gain an inch on the pitch without tension. All flexibility had gone out of my fingers. I very skillfully wore my voice out, bellowing for the tight line. My hands were two blobs of dirt, puss, and shredded skin. "Heel and toe," Kor shrieked. I was encouraged but slipped several feet down, trying to figure out what he meant.

Adrenaline flowed, and as I found myself following the obstacle -- this 5.10 crack-chimney affair -- I was bewildered and inspired by techniques I applied but did not understand. There were expressions of struggle so deeply found they would not transpire again. I drew upon untapped resources and stretched my limbs through a hundred variations of divine bumbling. One thing for sure: the pack and I would not both fit into the slot at once. Kor advised me to try the "Yosemite haul." I was to hook the pack to a long sling, then the sling to my waist loop (swami belt), and drag the pack as it hung well below. I regretted tackling such a scheme, for it was 5.11 just to get the beast off my back. Then the buckles of the straps caught on every conceivable projection until I was certain the tension from above and immovable weight below would tear me in half.
I somehow achieved Kor’s position. He had regained his composure but did not speak to me. Layton hung from slings attached to two feebly-looking knife-blade pitons he was eager to get away from. He did not delay in leading one more unbelievable, obscure pitch… a slightly overhanging, left-facing dihedral, all direct aid. Jumars (prusik handles) not yet invented, as a means by which a second man could follow, I stretched from one carabiner to the next, each reach an extreme effort. As usual, Layton could not see me and was unable to determine whether my winded gripes were that I had fallen, was trying to get tension, or simply pain. I gave each piton a few hard taps before I decided it was over-driven and a permanent fixture. I had no hands left, no voice, no spirit, only hope we could bivouac, drink the water, and somehow rejuvenate. All the pitons stayed in, and I was ashamed but kept fighting.

As I drained the last of my will to surmount the belay ledge, I caught sight of my companion. Kor’s hair pointed in every direction. His mouth and eyes were full of dirt. Sweat rolled down his cheeks. His famous buck teeth were the focus of an inimitable grin… He was a rebel with a bit of a temper, supremely talented, a competence fueled by sheer force. He was set off from other climbers by a light -- an illumination or charisma. He asked, ‘Did you get all the pins?’ I had none with me but seemed to feel the summit was near and that a few of the little iron strips would not be missed. I was unable to speak but simply nodded my head in the affirmative, as I reclined in a kind of fetal way on a slope of rock and gasped for air. We were seven hundred or more feet above the gully, a little less than half way to the rim. Kor gave me a worried glance and observed, "You look bad, Ament. You’re pale." He then ventured up onto the next formidable pitch….

What was I to do or say? I regarded life at this instant as an illness for which help was not available. I dreaded the thought we would continue but also feared retreat. To go down would mean Kor would find the pitons still in place. It meant we would have to thrash our way back up the horrible descent gully. To my amazement, Kor returned and, with no explanation, made preparations to rappel…. This abrupt decision filled me with questions. It was only later that I would know it was Kor's genuine concern for my condition that caused him to turn him back. He placed a lone, quarter-inch bolt. I watched the small thing bend in its hole – a few inches from my face – as he applied his weight to the rope. I listened to the binging of hammer against piton as he discovered and, on rappel, removed the pitons I had left. Small, indistinct curses drifted up to me and, finally, "Off rappel." I was not sure I could hold onto the rope – even with my carabiner break-bar – but resigned myself to try. Layton kept guard over the rope ends, in case I picked up speed. In the course of the rappel my blisters became mangled cuts. Sharp throbs pierced my cramped fingers and hands.

Kor detested my lack of candor about the pitons, and so did I. That was half the hurt. His smiles gnawed at me with excruciating clarity. For an instant he was understanding, and I remembered other sides of him, patient, insightful sides. My wretchedness and misery permeated the desolation of his stare, and my dejected state brought upon Kor an eagerness to escape the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and all of southwestern Colorado.

A quick, violent rainstorm gave us relief but was accompanied by several disturbing bolts of lightning and thunder crashes. After a few more agonizing rappels, we stood at the bottom in dark. The ominous, forbidding, evil gully rose endlessly above. Melancholy of night and uncertainty filled the gully. Disappointment, with cruel psychic and emotional meaning, overcame my crucified mind like the heat.

Kor withdrew upward into the night, leaving me to the demons of allusion -- as well as with a rack of hardware and heavy, rain-drenched rope I could barely lift…. I had let my heart be molded by him and, strangely, knew I would do so again. I loved Kor and hated him and in no way could deny either. The gully was a horrid task, and I was alone in it. Kor was somewhere far ahead, maybe almost to the rim, possibly in pieces below. I persevered toward a glimmer of sky, up steep slabs, through mud and stickers, over loose boulders, as if steering my bones through the grave. I clawed in the direction of a dim glow – the headlights of the Ford…. My exertions became greater. I stumbled through sage, got into the car, shut the door, and fell asleep. Layton was determined to grind out the drive back to Boulder this night.

I wished not to awaken out of my dream and into the nightmare of his speeding along the scary, dirt road. He sailed around corners in the wrong lane and demanded I sing songs to keep him awake. There was only static on the radio. I groaned a few hoarse and sour notes while leaning slowly over onto his nervous lap, back to sleep. He woke me several times, and I would sit up, only to slide rigidly back over onto his lap like a corpse, still dutifully humming.

My eyes opened in the town of Gunnison. It was past midnight, we had stopped, and Kor stood outside rapping on the door of an A & W Rootbeer stand which was closed. He looked like death and for all practical purposes frightened the janitor into letting him in. The fellow was obliged to fix the apparition a float! I went back to sleep. Was it really happening?

About an hour later, Layton pulled off onto what appeared to be a turn-out, stopped, got out of the car, and threw his sleeping bag, me, and my sleeping into the dirt. There we slept for the rest of the night. At the crack of dawn we made a quick dash to the Ford to deliver ourselves from a rancher's perverse sense of humor and two thousand hooves of five hundred cows being herded toward us.

Kor said nothing to me all the way home but, upon arriving in Boulder, reported to a number of other climbers. His account of the ordeal was marked by a lack of particulars and was simply, "Ament ... left all the pins in, so we had to come back." I recalled saving his life on the Bastille in Eldorado and wondered if he was being ungrateful. I began to realize how hard I had pushed on the wall of the Chasm View and in the exposed gully. Through young eyes and foolish insecurity, I saw Layton as the dishonest one. With a bit of reflection, I returned to my senses. He had told the truth, really. I understood and forgave him his madness. He had shown me the Black Canyon, perplexed me, and tortured my will and ego. But following our adventure he made plans to climb with me again in Eldorado, forgot for a while about the Chasm View, laughed, and, after all, was my friend.

***

Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 26, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
Great, great story, Pat, and might remind you about that lost graf. Ha!

This pic is kinda fun. Layton was pretty tall. Karen is pretty small. And Arlan, at 17 or so, is having fun with his parents!
Credit: Cameron Burns
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 26, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
What is hard to see is the brick barbecue behind them, a Kor original.


The sad thing is, once Karen sells the place, a distinct possibility now, the new owner will likely have no idea of the value of the piece.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 27, 2013 - 12:26am PT
It would take a lot more than a beautiful brick barbeque to keep me in Kingman - Karen too, as I recall her views on the place. Somebody should take a good photo and put it in a frame that can go anywhere.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 27, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
Jan, that's Arlan all right. He's a great young man filled with promise. And he damn near killed me the first time I followed him on skis. The following six days had us together in the truck up and down from Loveland but by no means up and down together once there. He's going to go far. A very classy and very intelligent man.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 27, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
Arlan and me after he had attempted to kill me via skiing.
Arlan and me after he had attempted to kill me via skiing.
Credit: Allen Hill
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 27, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
Best thread happening by far.

Too bad it took the loss of one of our greats to make us appreciate things and not fight.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 28, 2013 - 12:51am PT
A group of folks I really, really enjoy: Arlan, Jordan Campbell (from the "FartersOnRaju Expedition to Peru"----did I get the name of that peak right, Jordan?), Chris Archer, Sarah Spaulding, some really tall guy who wanted to go to the ... ahem ... "legendary" (???) Blue Parrot restaurant in Louisville, CO, and Allen Hill. (Layton was actually holding up this line of folks who'd had too much red wine.)
Credit: Cameron Burns
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:48am PT
And God I'm six foot tall. He didn't shrink that's for certain. Last time I saw the "Big Daddy." Thanks Cam. Give a call when you have some time.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:57am PT
Sheesh! Allen.

I knew he was going to tower over me, so why not accentuate and hunch over to enhance ape index?



Kevin says, "Looks like different tribes."
Kevin says, "Looks like different tribes."
Credit: Piton Ron
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:43am PT
"Looks like different tribes."

Indeed. From my deep knowledge of Native Americans I can tell that one is of the Midgetomi people, and the other of the Skyscraypum tribe.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:23am PT
My father, Kerry &#40;a PhD in geology&#41;, got to talk rock with Lay...
My father, Kerry (a PhD in geology), got to talk rock with Layton quite a bit on one visit. Layton really enjoyed it. Why my mother is wearing a climbing helmet while wandering round, I'll never know...
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:24am PT
My Dad hanging out with Layton and having a minor coffee-drinking comp...
My Dad hanging out with Layton and having a minor coffee-drinking competition. (Except I think my dad left his coffee in the lav...)
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:28am PT
Layton suggested this pic. I didn't. He said "Cam, wanna pic with your...
Layton suggested this pic. I didn't. He said "Cam, wanna pic with your girls?" This is one of the coolest things he ever did for me, and there were many. I sure didn't think of it at the time. He actually grabbed them and jumped onto his couch. Kingman, A
Credit: Cameron Burns
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:31am PT
Karen, Layton, Arlan.
Karen, Layton, Arlan.
Credit: Cameron Burns
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:37am PT
I heard about this visit when I was there and how much fun you guys had.
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:41am PT
Jan, you were supposed to be a part of it, remember? I'll sendja an email. Best, Cammo
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
I loved to fish with Layton and took some video of him
reeling one in. I'll see if I can find it... He found a
wood dock float where he could drop his line down a hole in the float,
and then pull fish right up through the hole. They could never
see him, as he relaxed in a chair above.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Layton after another tower first ascent.  Note the unusual "maiden loo...
Layton after another tower first ascent. Note the unusual "maiden looking" rock in front of him.
Credit: the albatross

Layton sure loved to climb rocks.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
That same SCUBA tank (couch shot) now sits 2m from me.


I'll think of him when I dive again.
Something we never got to do because of his problems.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Y'all are so fortunate to have known him.
The rest of us are fortunate to have known of him.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Layton has written a number of humorous short stories. In one of them he talked about how he learned to dive in a shallow Colorado lake which only came up to his waist so he had to practice (imagine the sight!) by bending over and sticking his head under water to see what it was like breathing that way with oxygen.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:22pm PT
Jan,
remember in the Cracker Barrel when he said that he dove around Guam for 3 or 4 years, and I said, "Wow! Didn't you even come up for air?"

, and when you and Karen started laughing for just a moment he shot me a pissed off look, but then started laughing at himself.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:09am PT
Here's a memorial article about Layton from the Denver Post.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23133405/climber-layton-kor-famous-colorado-first-ascents-dead
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
I have to say I was disappointed with that Denver Post piece.
I think some of the worst writers on the planet are newspaper
writers. No matter how accurate you are or how much help you
give them, they will make a load of mistakes. Anyway, that has
been my experience. Maybe I'm too hard on them. Maybe they have
to deal with deadlines....
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 1, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Cam

Thank you for sharing those wonderful photos and sharing with us Layton in recent years. What a gem.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 1, 2013 - 06:31pm PT
Trying to set something up with the Access Fund.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
For fund raising or for a memorial?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 1, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
fund raising with tax break
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 6, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
I want to bump this, to keep thoughts of Layton alive.
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
May 6, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
I wonder if Layton realized how much he was admired by the climbers who followed after him.
I know when I first started out in the sport, Layton was one to be revered.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 7, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
bump to the front page. Never met Layton but he inspired me along with many others BITD.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 13, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
I hope people aren't running out of stories or photos. I hope
we can keep this thread alive. It's a great feeling to
scroll through and see all the friendships and relationships,
all the good memories.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 13, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
I believe Layton's funeral was on Saturday finally. Does anyone know? Was anyone from this website there or was it strictly a religious service for fellow Witnesses?
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
May 13, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
From http://www.denverpost.com/obituaries/ci_23133405/climber-layton-kor-famous-colorado-first-ascents-dead

His wife called me [Pat Ament], after he passed away, and said he was still trying to get out a joke with his final breath."

Having fun right to the end... A life well lived.
crunch

Social climber
CO
May 13, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
The Boulder paper printed a nice tribute by Chris Weidner:

http://www.dailycamera.com/recreation-columnists/ci_23193069/chris-weidner-layton-kors-legacy-strong-boulder
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
May 13, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Jan,

The ceremony was on Saturday. There were around 50 persons in attendance, mostly church members and perhaps a dozen climbers.

Albert

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 14, 2013 - 10:50am PT
Well,.. I saw you, Bird, Gordon, Burns, Green, and Ament .

Who am I missing?
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
May 14, 2013 - 11:20am PT
A digital audio recording of the service has been sent to Julia and James. If anyone would like a copy, please just holler. Cam
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
May 14, 2013 - 11:46am PT
and Jody...
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 14, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
The service at the kingdom hall in Kingman was an innocuous
event, mainly about a twenty-minute or half hour talk by one
of the brothers, talking about their view of death, etc. We
all sat quietly, appreciative of our Layton. A few climbers. It was
good to see Bridwell. We caught up on a lot. He has a good memory but
is a bit "out there" at times. I guess that was always how
it was, part of the personality of a large spirit. Good to meet
Jody finally in the flesh. Albert Newman, Stewart Green, Cam Burns
(who drove me down), Ron Olevsky, Todd Gordon (who drove Bridwell)....
A couple of us, Ron and I... in suits.... A good vibe in general,
and then a dinner/buffet at a home afterward where we conversed a bit
but not long. Most of us simply got in our cars, turned around, and
then drove the long way home. Karen was the epitome of calm and
grace. Arlan was/is understandably broken up, having a tough go. I
think the whole process for most of us has been of letting the
reality sink in. I, for one, will miss Layton's many phone calls and
emails, our get-togethers in Boulder, but the memories of a lot of
adventures live on. He had many friends and touched the entire climbing
world, as I have said elsewhere, one of the most fully realized
individuals to have blessed our rock formations and our lives with
his beautiful, energetic presence.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 15, 2013 - 12:26am PT
Does anyone know where he will be buried or his ashes scattered?
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 15, 2013 - 12:32am PT
To my knowledge, no word was said about where his ashes will
go. Arlan did tell me the day after Layton passed that they were
going to cremate him.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 15, 2013 - 12:46am PT
I'm assuming Colorado then.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 17, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Jan, I think the only way to know would be to phone Karen. It
is my rough speculation that she has his ashes and wonders
what next. But I'm not sure. I wish I could spread them from the
rim of the Black Canyon or top of the Naked Edge. I would find a
way to get in shape enough to do that.... Or maybe we should spread
a little in one area and some in other areas.... Give Karen a call.
Or email her. Arlan gets email from Layton's old account and
passes them along to Karen.

Let's not let this thread drop away so soon. How about some stories
from friends. I have hundreds but don't want to dominate the thread
with my stuff.... Say something funny Layton did.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
May 17, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
If I had a vote - top of naked edge
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 17, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
the best thing about my entire life has been the incredible people who have crossed paths with me

some of you are posting here, and i think you all agree with me:



Layton is a Great One
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
I second Pat and Nature's idea of Laytons ashes being buried at the top of The Naked Edge, how cool would that be.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 17, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
Or not buried but dispersed into the air...

(I don't want to be presumptuous, as though it were anyone's
decision but Karen and Arlan....).

Good to hear from you Tom. Did you climb with Layton? Would love to hear
a story. Hope you are well. Your old friend Patrick Oliver....
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 18, 2013 - 03:03am PT
Pat, I'll repost this in honor of Layton:

Mar 19, 2010 - 02:45am PT
I heard about Layton Kor in the Tetons in the early sixties. Layton was around the climbing camps, but I didn’t really associate with him directly very much. Every once in a while I’d hear another legend about him. In the Tetons I went with Joe Fitschen and his wife Linea over to Blacktail Butte out in the plains of Jackson Hole, where we tried to repeat a new route that Layton had done. The wall on Blacktail Butte is a steep flat piece of limestone with small sharp holds. We heard that Royal had repeated the route, but we didn’t get very far with it.

In Yosemite I had seen this tall energetic guy charging around Camp 4 and been told that he was the Colorado G4, the great giant gobbling granite. Being from Idaho I was happy to see someone else from out of state. I have this image of Layton charging up the hill towards the boulders in Camp 4 where the climbers usually camped, looking a bit like a race horse coming out of the gate. He seemed to have more energy than anyone I had seen before.

Layton came to me in Camp 4 one day and asked if I would like to go with him to do the second ascent of the North Face of Lower Cathedral Rock. I was surprised and honored that he would think to ask me. I mainly knew Layton by reputation and considered him to be the best of the best; so he didn’t have to talk me into it. He may have come to me because we are both mountaineers and this wall has loose, decomposed and dirty rock making it dangerous. Or perhaps nobody else wanted to go near that climb. The wall goes up for a pitch to a large difficult overhang. Then it goes straight up again behind a huge loose flake with no visible means of support, and on up to another huge overhang. Then it finishes off with some steep tenuous face climbing covered with lichen. The entire route overhangs the base of the wall. Layton warned me that it was probably the most dangerous Grade Six route. The first ascent by Robbins, Pratt and Fitschen took over three days. They had let it be known that this was a horror show that should not be repeated.

The night before as we sorted gear on a table in Camp 4, I was surprised at some of what Layton was bringing along. He had two steel-shafted CMI hammers of a sort that I considered to be the strongest available. He told me he expected to break at least one of them. He wondered if I also had a spare, which I did not. I just had the worn-out carpenter’s hammer that Jim Baldwin had given me after he dropped mine. Layton also put several big bunches of celery and carrots in our pack, a couple of weeks supply to my way of thinking. My usual preferred food supply was a bag of trail mix and some hard salami. I raised an objection and he told me not to worry, he’d take care of it.

Very early in the morning we were on our feet hiking rapidly down the valley towards the wall. We arrived at the base of the wall and roped up with our swami belts and Goldline. Before I could take a deep breath Layton was running up the first pitch, up a short distance and then a long traverse ledge out to the right. I wasn’t very comfortable traversing the long dirty ledge, but was pulled along by the sheer energy of his presence. I recall one move where I wanted to work it out a bit, and he said, ‘Don’t think about it, just do it!” That’s not my usual style and I was surprised when it actually worked and I didn’t take a long swinging fall.

In moments I was tied into his belay stance at the top of the pitch and Layton was charging ahead on the next pitch. I will never forget watching Layton lead that pitch. I don’t have the words to describe the experience properly. Up until that moment I had maintained a fantasy of being one of the better and faster leaders on difficult direct aid. Layton was in a league I hadn’t guessed existed. That pitch is severely overhanging, dirty, crumbling, wandering up a black series of ceilings. Most of the cracks are not really cracks, just seams in the rock; using RURPs and knife blades.

I might have been able to lead it with a lot of care and thought and time. Layton was obviously applying the motto he had just shared with me on the previous pitch. He’s hanging up there with his feet swinging around, hammering on RURPs with rapid full arm swings of his hammer. It’s completely unreal to me that those RURPs could hold him while he’s swinging around hammering the next shaky pin. Then several times he used my thin haul line to bring up some more groceries. So now he’s a few pins up above me, hanging on very doubtful RURPs, swinging his hammer like an angry woodpecker; with moss, lichen, and rock chips flying in all directions; and stuffing his mouth with celery and carrots.

About half way up the pitch, the hammer gives up. First the steel shaft bends and Layton swears at it. A few more unsympathetic whacks and it breaks and the head goes sailing away. Without breaking his pace Layton has his backup hammer in action as he exclaims about how that one was already worn out from the last climb he did (El Cap West Face). By the time Layton reaches the top of the pitch I am in a lifelong state of awe; and a large portion of the celery and carrots have been consumed. I needn’t have worried about hauling the extra weight in the pack.

Now it’s my turn to follow and clean the pitch. I clean the belay anchor pins and clip my aiders to the first pin. While I’m hanging on the next one and reach back to take out the first one, the second one that I’m standing on falls out, sending me swing out of reach of the first one, if I didn’t still have a sling on it. I have to reach back and bang it out while pulling on the sling. About that time the third pin pulls out before I even put my weight on it. It’s completely unreal how Layton with an extra hundred pounds got those things to hold his weight. I guess you’re just not supposed to stop and think about it! In any case the whole pitch went like that. I didn’t so much have to clean the pitch as just figure out some way to get my body upwards while everything around me was falling off. In spite of the sense of compressed time, it must have been early afternoon by the time we finished the pitch. I had heard about Layton yelling at his partners, but he was actually very pleasant to me as I struggled to follow him up through the grunge. In retrospect I am very curious how this pitch compared to some of the other wonders Layton is know to have performed.

The next pitches were relatively straight forward. One pitch was a precarious stack of loose blocks covered with lichen and dirt that we climbed with great care and respect. At about this point Royal showed up in his car and yelled up at us that no one should try climbing that wall as it was too dangerous. Layton yelled back that Royal should move his car before it got hit by falling rocks.

The top of that loose blocks pitch is at the base of a 300 ft flake magically stuck to the middle of the wall. [This huge flake and the loose boulders of the previous pitch are now all part of the talus slope below the wall.] I’m standing looking up at this remarkable guillotine while Layton disappears inside a cave and up behind the flake. As he wanders around in the squeeze chimney behind the flake, he calls out that he doesn’t see how I’m going to be able to get up through there with the pack. This pitch actually seemed to slow him down slightly and we are starting to run out of daylight.

When it gets to be my turn I wander out of the high exposure into the mysterious realm of vertical spelunking. You can’t just climb straight up in there, because variations in the width of the chimney force you to explore back and forth to find a place where your body can fit through. At each move I was dragging or pushing the pack along with me. Now I understood why Layton was slowed down by this pitch; a big guy in a tight space. I gradually found my way up and left until I was standing on a couple of chock stones directly below Layton. Layton was standing on a small flake wedged crosswise above a mass of boulders at the left edge of the squeeze chimney.

At this point with the rope leading directly up, Layton offered to haul up the pack. Looking at another fifty feet of squeeze chimney, that seemed like a great idea. Then as Layton pulled the pack up close to his position it pulled across the stack of boulders that he was standing on. Somehow the pack knocked out a key stone and the whole stack started tumbling down the chimney straight at me. It was immediately apparent to both of us that I probably wasn’t going to survive this barrage of rocks coming down through the confines of the chimney. Layton was yelling something above the din of falling rocks like Oh God, I’m sorry! I was busy trying to apply rule number one when facing falling rocks – watch the way the rocks bounce and don’t be there when they make the last bounce. Except here there were lots of rocks making lots of bounces in a confined space. The chimney was a little bit wider where I was and there were two chock stones a few feet apart where I could hop back and forth. Somehow that was enough that I kept my wits under control and managed to dodge the bigger ones with the same mind set as running a ski slalom race course. I was left standing with my face and hair full of grit and just a few scratches and bruises.

Layton was so upset with himself and apologetic. I pointed out that neither of us could have anticipated what happened and he didn’t need to beat himself up about it. Particularly since all I got out of it was sand in my eyes. We were pretty drained at that point both physically and emotionally. I worked myself up the squeeze chimney to Layton and tied into the anchors.

We both sat down on the flat slab, which was now perched on we knew not what, as it was now dark and we had no flashlight; but at least it was still perched. I got the inside perch jammed with my back into the chimney. Layton got the outside with his long legs. I was too tired to even check the anchors, which he assured me were not very good anyway. So we tried to get some rest. Layton kept getting cramps in his legs. Each time one of us moved the slab would go clunk like a restaurant table with uneven legs. I tried to keep myself wedged in well enough so that if our perch fell apart we’d still be there in some fashion.

At the first sign of visible light, without a word, we were moving up the second half of the squeeze chimney. Another couple of pitches above the flake went by mechanically in the cool morning light, taking us over the second barrier of overhangs; still difficult, but not in perspective to what we had already been through.

I remember the two of us standing shoulder to shoulder on a small flat ledge right at the outer edge of that second big overhang way out from the base of the big wall. We were starting to relax and Layton told me it was the most exposed position he had ever been in before. I was surprised and asked him if that included El Cap. He said yes it did because we jutted so far out from the wall we had just climbed and there was no way we could ever consider going back down that way. We just stood there for a little while chatting and looking across the valley at the sun on El Capitan. The final pitch is bare, unprotected, and lichen covered. But we just took our time very carefully as falling in that unprotected spot is not something anyone would want to do. We’d done the route in a day and a half.

There is a large ledge just below the scramble to the summit. We sat for a little while and stretched out and sorted our gear. Then we scrambled down the Gunsight Notch between Lower and Middle Rocks.

Layton had torn out the seam of his pants and didn’t want anyone to see him. So I went ahead of him down the trail and signaled each time some tourist hikers came along so he could run up and hide among the trees.

When we got back to Camp 4 he changed his pants and we went over to the Mountain Room in the Lodge, still looking scruffy. Layton ordered several steak dinners for us to share. As we sat there chatting, we noticed that waiters were setting up tables next to us with more settings. We laughed and let them know that we were not expecting anyone else. I ate two steak dinners and Layton ate three or four.

We hobbled back to Camp 4 and split up to our separate camps in the early evening. I couldn’t tell you how long I slept, but by the time I woke Layton was probably off doing another climb.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 18, 2013 - 04:16am PT
That's a great story!

I especially loved Royal yelling up to Layton that nobody should be climbing there and Layton yelling back down for Royal to move his car before it got hit by rocks!

I too had the experience of climbing things with Layton that I probably couldn't have done if I'd stopped to think abou them.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
May 18, 2013 - 04:40am PT
Nice piece.
Michelle Gill

climber
Redding, CA
May 18, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
I found a link where we can help out his wife with expenses. Don't know if it is still up and running. But I am going to find out. The TacoStand helped me out in my time of need. Thank you.
Layton passed away with significant medical, funeral, and other expenses. Friends of Layton's have set up a website for donations in Layton's memory to help Layton's wife, Karen Kor, with those expenses. The website address is: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/support-for-layton-kor/55319 All donations go straight to Karen with no intermediaries and no fees. Please give generously and spread the word!
Chris Archer - 04/26/2013 2:53:28
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 18, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Thanks Michelle, the site you mention is posted here already but you reminded me to bump it.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
May 18, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
Great story Tom. He told me how much fun he had flying about with you in your plane. What a treat.
Thanks for the story and a bump for the Kor's.
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