What is the age of the oldest climber doing big walls?


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Isolated in El Portal and loving it
Feb 13, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
I recall Tom Frost at a slideshow two years ago recounting a repeat of the Salathe (I think-maybe NA wall) with his son a few years before that. How old is Tom?

Trad climber
White Salmon WA.
Feb 13, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
Great shots of Fred...no helmet no gloves no knee pads...tough!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 13, 2007 - 02:41pm PT
That first photo looks like Fred doesn't appreciate Ammon's sense of humor.

Feb 13, 2007 - 10:03pm PT
Nef, Thanks for the pure gold pix. Great stuff! Inspirational to say the least.

"jack h": I was just joshin' ol' Steve, as I thought I conveyed in the post. Cheers.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 14, 2007 - 03:49am PT
Tom Frost did a 40th anniversary ascent of the Salathe' with his son Ryan in 2001 (about age 64). Here he reprises the classic shot of him leading the roof pitch on the FA:


Feb 14, 2007 - 03:55am PT
"In 1997, Galen Rowell becomes the oldest man to climb the Nose in a Day; the 57 year old acclaimed photographer sent the route in 16 hours, swinging leads with partner Conrad Anker."

from: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~jrblack/histrec.html

Trad climber
Between Tuscano and Liguria, Italia
Feb 14, 2007 - 10:00am PT
Jonny D

Social climber
Lost Angelez, Kalifornia
Feb 14, 2007 - 12:25pm PT
Hate to blow the Cory/Nose bubble but... I did the Nose in '85 with french guide Jean Noel Roche and his son Bertrand (aka Zebulon) who was 10 years old at the time." Zeb" led the king swing and another couple of pitches. He later on became the youngest climber to top Everest at age 17 and did it again with his bride with a tandem paragliding descent.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 14, 2007 - 02:12pm PT
Jim Bridwell must be one of the older guys venturing away from the more bread and butter routes. How old is he?

A friend of mine who is 70 (71 now?) has followed a couple of routes in the last couple of years. It might not have the risk of leading, but it's a phenomenal amount of work to do all of that, and watching him train and pull it off really inspired me.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 14, 2007 - 06:21pm PT
I believe, Bill Price was 14 and Kurt Reider was 15 when they did the Nose in 1976.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 14, 2007 - 06:34pm PT
Seems like some of the local kids who grew up there climbing would have been on it pretty young, although I really don't know. (Brayden Mayfeild and Lynea Anderson come to mind.) Daniel Eubank was swinging leads at a young age.

Edit: I pulled up this TR from his dad. Maybe it's more a propos on the generations thread, but it's so awesome to see families be tight with each other like this:


Who's the oldest woman?

The oldest I know of might not appreciate me taking a stab at how old I think she is.

I haven't seen too many women in their 60's or older on the sharp end of anything. I hope when my generation gets there, we've still got the inclination and our health to keep doing it.

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Feb 14, 2007 - 07:57pm PT
Once I met a British team aged 11 and 13 who had just topped out on the Nose. I had talked with the father before, who had been belaying his kids on the Cookie. The dad let the kids run up the Nose on their own. Forgot their names, great people.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 14, 2007 - 08:57pm PT
One of my climbing partners is still leading hard stuff at over 60, and she was looking at trying to be the oldest woman to climb El Cap at one point. Our attempt at that time got stopped when I unwisely chose to lead p4 of Tangerine Trip just as darkness was falling. Oops, insta-epic. I'm sure she could still do it easily.

East Coast US
Feb 15, 2007 - 08:44am PT
I love this thread!

I'm going through the midst of having three kids [11, 8, 5] all playing sports and musical instruments, and involved in all sorts of other activities. I'm just trying to keep the fire alive with modest hopes of getting up to Cannon or North Conway this summer for some aid climbing.

Keep the dream alive!

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 15, 2007 - 09:16am PT
we must have the toughies down here. Met a late 50's and early 60's gal TR'ing Some Girls (5.12b) last month.

All gray and firing, that was the scene...
Scott Cole

Trad climber
Jackson, WY^
Feb 17, 2007 - 09:57am PT
I think you all missed the point. If you're climbing the Captain (sans Guide) you aren't old yet! Maybe the body is a bit worn, but the mind must still be young.


Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 17, 2007 - 11:15am PT
That pic of Frost all easy and calm up there -- almost looks like he knows what he's doing. That kind of skill is settled in the womb.


Feb 17, 2007 - 05:11pm PT
bump - this is climbing related....
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 18, 2007 - 02:51am PT
Dave Lane of Vancouver was 15 when he did the Nose with John Arts, in October 1976. He'd been climbing less than a year, and was probably the youngest person at that time who'd climbed it.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 18, 2007 - 01:01pm PT
Bridwell has been around for so long because he started climbing when he was four, only a few months after he started smoking.

He's only 48.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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