Most influential American climber of the 20th Century...

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donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - May 11, 2014 - 12:02pm PT
There are a lot of notable candidates from all of the realms of climbing from John Gill in bouldering, Lynn Hill in Rock climbing, George Lowe in alpinisim to John Roskelly in high altitude mountaineering and many I have not mentioned.
My vote, however, in terms of his influence on the world stage is Jeff Lowe. Jeff has been the epitome of the "all rounder" with demonstrated skill in rock, ice, mixed and alpinisim. He has always been a step ahead of the times, sometimes a step too far. A true pioneer, he has always explored ways to take climbing to the next level. He has never been content with the status quo. When you combine an ever inquiring mind with technical skill and an explorer's mentality you have the ingrediants of a true game changer.
And a game changer he has certainly been.....from cutting edge Himalayan alpinisim to being the "father" of modern ice and mixed climbing, he has been a profound influence for climbers around the world.
Alpine climbing was born in the Alps and many of its storied practicioners live within their shadows but they are all indebted to Jeff for showing them the way on steep ice and mixed climbing.
Astonishing new speed records are now the norm in the Alps but Jeff's route Metanoia on the Eiger, done solo twenty three years ago, has yet to be repeated.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 11, 2014 - 12:04pm PT
Why American, Jim?

Who cares about American.

Who is the best?

Who is the coolest?

Who is the most fun to climb with?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 11, 2014 - 12:05pm PT
hard if not impossible to argue with that!
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 11, 2014 - 12:06pm PT
Johnny Dawes is high on my list of cool and impressive climbers.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 11, 2014 - 12:08pm PT
Tronc Feuillu.

Yes, him. Most definitely.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
May 11, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
For pure rock climbing I would have to say Royal Robbins. If you look at Royal's climbs in Yosemite it is clear that he understood the progression of climbing and always sought to be on the cutting edge taking the sport to the next level. He also showed the Europeans in Chamonix a thing or two about doing big walls with his ascents on the Dru.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 11, 2014 - 12:11pm PT
Walter Bonatti.

Yes, him too.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
May 11, 2014 - 12:12pm PT
Jim Donini that is a wonderful tribute to a man who has had a deep and abiding influence to so many climbers myself included. It is hard to see him at this stage of his incredible journey but at the same time so immensely inspiring. I was never worthy of carrying the man's climbing shoes but to be able to help him with his wheel chair is a humbling honor.
I second Donini's selection.



And Jim you are pretty high on that list your self.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
May 11, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Hans Kraus or Yvon Chouinard, everyone after those two were standing on their shoulders.
Granted they were not born American but they were very influential in the history of climbing in this country.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Randisi....I qualified it, live with that. I could have said most influential Somali pirate.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 11, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
charlie fowler and Tobin srenson were up there, as all rounders that is, but i don't think they ever busted out of cult status. For us canadians it would be either John Lauchlin or dave cheesemond.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
May 11, 2014 - 12:14pm PT
The artist alway stands on the shoulders of those who came before:

Muir > Faquahar > Eichorn > Salathe > Robbins/Chounard > Long & Friends > Bachar > Honnold




(I refuse to acknowledge the existance of sport climbers)
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
May 11, 2014 - 12:15pm PT
Randisi--Go away,yer an idiot and a jerk.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
May 11, 2014 - 12:17pm PT
Don't listen to the haters Randsi.
It rustles their jimmies when you point out the obvious.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 11, 2014 - 12:18pm PT
live with that.

Yes, Jim. I do have to live with that. Every day.

The fact that Americans are so self-focused and insular is something I have to live with constantly. I'm always reminded of it by non-Americans.

So stop it!

Please.
locker

Social climber
"Sh#t shack across from the city dump"
May 11, 2014 - 12:21pm PT



I don't know about American vs where or whomever...

But the (Short)list of most influential on your's truly is as follows...


Jeff Lowe...

Jim Donini...

Layton Kor...

John Long...




EDITED:

If it goes to influential and MOST FUN hands down I give it to BLITZO...

"Dude's the MACK!!!"...



philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
May 11, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
The thread isn't about cool climbers from around the world but influential American climbers.
Thus "cool dudes" like Berntd Arnold who was most definitely influential and a man who shattered preconceived barriers do not apply as they are furiners.

The thread is also not about cool fun hot climbers. It's not about who stood on who's shoes but who stood apart from the crowd and gave new stronger shoulders to stand on.
Or what American had the biggest influence to climbing. If you want to start a thread about climbers from other countries you are free to do so but getting snarky about the OP's intent is kind of weak.



The fact that Americans are so self-focused and insular is something I have to live with constantly. I'm always reminded of it by non-Americans.

Hey I think much the same about the Cali-centric bias on ST but if a poster stars a thread specifically about Cali climbing's best, most, baddest whatever why should I come in and say yea but what about...? Again as has been posted ad-nauseam Don't like it don't post to it.


BJ

climber
May 11, 2014 - 12:24pm PT
Locker
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
May 11, 2014 - 12:28pm PT
Randisi who is the most influential Chinese climber?

Huh?

DMT
WBraun

climber
May 11, 2014 - 12:29pm PT
" ... epitome of the "all rounder" with demonstrated skill in rock, ice, mixed and alpinisim.

So that is criteria that Jim is looking at/for, and he wants it limited to American.

Nothing wrong with that at all and has nothing to do with Randisi's crazy rant.

Can't you people even do a simple thing?

Rolls eyes .......

Jeff would be a strong top contender although I'm not qualified to judge ....
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