In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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Mick Fowler, b. 1956, Great Britain
Dean Potter, b. 1972, USA
Steph Davis, b. 1973, USA
Wojciech „Voytek” Kurtyka, b. 1947, Poland
Wolfgang Güllich 1960-1992, Germany

Todd Skinner, 1958-2006, USA


Opens training camp outside Hueco Tanks, Texas, later known as the Hueco Rock Ranch


Direct Northwest Face 5.13 c/d of Half Dome, 24 pitches), 61 days, from June till August, led all the hard-5.12 and 5.13 pitches, redpoint ascent with Steve Bechtel and Chris Oates (working on the route with various partners: Nancy Feagin, Scott Franklin, Steve Schneider), a few crux meters on the fourth pitch held him up for many days. eleven pitches 5.12 or above, with four of “average” 5.13 and the crux rated at 5.13 c/d.

Modern Rock Climbing, ICS Books published


The Great Canadian Knife VI 5.13b, 17 pitches, Cirque of the Unclimbables, Canada, first ascent, with Paul Piana and Galen Rowell

Boivin Route, Aratityope, east face, Venezuela, second ascent, with Rock Ridgeway and Paul Piana, approach took many days, paddling canoes up river with a help of local Indian tribe, interesting crack climbing in the upper section, but scary quasi-vertical vegetation on the initial pitches


The Jaded Lady VI 5.12a, 2,000 feet on Mount Hooker, Wind River Range, Wyoming, first free ascent, with Paul Piana, Galen Rowell, Tim Toula

Throwin’ the Houlihan 5.14a, Wild Iris, Wyoming, first ascent

Boys’ Town 5.14a, Hueco Tanks, Texas, first ascent


Cowboyography 5.13c/d,  the Front Side, Hueco Tanks, Texas, first ascent

Burning 5.13b, Hell Cave, American Fork Canyon,  Utah, first ascent of the seminal cave route


Lizzy Beams Desire 5.14a, , South Seas, Black Hills, South Dakota, first ascent, unrepeated


Salathé Wall VI 5.13b, El Capitan, Yosemite, first free ascent, with Paul Piana over a nine-day push after about a month of work, the two swapped leads on the crux pitches while the follower jumared.  This prolonged ascent brought criticism from many climbers but with four 5.13 pitches the Free Salathé was undoubtedly the hardest big-wall climb in America and probably in the world.


Fallen Arches 5.13a, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, the first American to flash a 5.13 with his ascent of the first pitch, placing his own gear.

When Legends Die 5.13a/b, Hueco Tanks, long runout after the crux overhang, possibility of  40 feet fall


City Park 5.13c, Index Town Walls, Washington, first free ascent done yo-yo style,  used a blow torch to burn away the axle grease placed on key holds by local climbers.

Competed in the World Speed-Climbing Championships in October in Soviet Georgia, with Russ Clune, Dan Michael, and Beth Wald


The Gunfighter 5.13b, Hueco Tanks, Texas first redpoint

The crack is so overhung that it’s climbed much like a roof – lots of dynamic moves – very intricate and terminally custained.

The Stigma 5.13b, Yosemite Valley, first free ascent,  first use of hangogging and rehearsal in Yosemite Valley, renamed it Renegade

I don’t mind if the locals don’t accept it, because the locals won’t do it anyway.
Todd Skinner

Reaction to this climb generated not only in Yosemite, but nationwide and even abroad. In many ways it was a real focal point in the development of what became sport climbing in America.

Paul Piana


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See also
Climbing 01/07
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Todd Skinner 1958-2006
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