The best offwidth climber ever


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Barry Bates

Boulder climber
Smith River CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:23am PT
Back in the piton days it didn't seem to matter if the pitch was 5.8 or 5.10d the crux for me, was trying to climb around the 4 inch bong after it had been placed. At times it was easier to thrash upward with no protection.

Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Alex got it right -- the best offwidth climber is the one having the most fun doing offwidth.

Sport climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:38am PT
Peter Haan says: "Those great brits, The Wideboyz, have hugely advanced the craft into another realm just recently. Maybe not so much as a manifestation of spirit, brujo, and transcendence, but hell its 2013 and its all new gear. I am referring to Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall."

And in the past another brit, Johnny Dawes, must not be forgotten.

The Quarryman

Climbing "philosophy": 'You've got to mess about' interview
Johnny K.

Jul 30, 2013 - 10:41am PT
"There is always someone better..."

Jul 30, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Like fighters, the best climbers are probably the ones you have never heard of.

+1 above.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Leavitt & Yaniro in the 1980's with their scientific approach to training and technique.

Wideboyz taking it to the next level today.

Eyonkee seems to have a good level of this type of discipline.

I've often gone up and looked at the long ugly offwidth that is under the Royal Arches and wondered if I could ever get the the discipline and self loathing necessary to engage on the enterprise of groveling through the many pitches of bomb bay door choss.

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Hey Greg - So, having looked at Pipeline from below, and looking at the recent pic from above (in the latest issue of Climbing), I'm more impressed than ever by your FFA. Full disclosure: I probably won't be hopping on that sucker anytime soon!

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:50am PT
The best offwidth climber ever

The one having the most fun.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
SO ..

there are no good offwidth climbers.

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
"Fun" DOES seem a little strong. Fun like losing your job or your girl or your dog. "Satisfaction" is about as good as it gets for me.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
The ones that used hex's for pro. It seems it has become more similar to sport climbing with the giant cams.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
The ones that used hex's for pro.

I have to disagree. See Barry Bates's comment, above.

How do you measure greatness? I'm not sure it's a well-ordered set. In any case, Pratt (who could not have been more than an inch taller than me) was my inspiration and model.

And besides, my friend scuffyb belongs on that list, because he actually seems to enjoy climbing OW.


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:57pm PT

Let's not forget Chingando 5.10a Chuck Pratt '65.
I almost puked...

-Craig Leubben, Ralph FA, circa '92. He did puke!

Sport climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
a master of offwidth can make it look as effortless as face. of the climbers i had a chance to see in action, altman and werner would have to be high on the list of all time best in the genre. rumor had it that d. bard was up there too, wish i was around to see pratt. goes without saying large cams were a game changer for offwidths, i put a few of those together bitd, well before most had them.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
What Grug said about Shanti, should be noted. With the exception of Century Crack, which she has never been on, she has done and often put up, All the routes The Wide Boyz@, now known as the Slender Gents,did here. They apparently failed, on Event Horizon, and never got on Forever War, they have a to do list, as well.

The concept of 'best' is ridiculous of course, but it is a much bigger more complicated question than can be gleaned from limited media offerings.

I will go out on a limb and say that Pam is the most accomplished Wydee Climber in the world, right now. (Recall the rights a kidded erotically offwidths by and large and concntrated on Inverts. Pam climbs a wider repertoire.)
Fairly certain here, I've been paying attention to this and been involed in it, longer than anyone else.

Note also there has been no mention of the people who put up all the hard runout wide in the black canyon. A huge bunch of Wyde lore there!

Also there is a lot more going on in the south than has been reflected here yet!

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Without actually having met him in person (but rather just by lurking on the forum), I would say that Patrick Kingsbury should probably make this list...

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
I wouldn't, and I've met him....

Re Weissner- on Weissner, I believe he climbed that in rope soled shoes.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
To respond to an entry above,
Whillans was a profoundly good climber and one of the great ones
of his day in England and Wales. I don't remember that he did
anything that was truly like the Yosemite off-widths. He had a
really hard time with Crack of Despair, when he followed Pratt
up it in the fall of 1966, although he easily climbed Crack of Doom
(no off-width on Doom). I think Whillans, like most outsiders,
had little to no experience with the true off-width and had to
make the adjustment when he came here. He was a good solid 5.10
climber but rarely did any 5.11, a few probably. Some of those
runouts in Wales were impressive, climbs Whillans and Brown did,
such as Cenotaph Corner and many such classics....

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
I would
Love to do Cenotaph corner some day....

San Jose, CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Probably appropriate on this tread to ask about Dale Bard.
I've read several short stories about him on ST about his bold, hard climbing in 70-th in the Valley and his exceptional OW skills.
Is he still climbing? Is he ever post on ST?
look, about half of best ow climbers from Greg list are supertopians
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