Layton Kor, the King has died


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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.

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

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.

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

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
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.

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
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

Social climber
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

Big Wall climber
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

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.

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

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

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 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.....

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

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.

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.

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