Patrick Edlinger has passed away...
On the 16th of November, the French site ledauphin reported that French climbing legend Patrick Edlinger had died at the age of 52. The cause of death has not been known yet. In the 80’s and 90’s, „Le Blonde” was one of the most distinct sport climbers and inspired the masses of young talents around the world.
Patrick Edlinger (photo: grimpavranches.com)
In the 80’s, the French athlete became one of the leading figures of sport climbing thanks to his extraordinary style of climbing and daring free solo ascents that made him permanently enter the history of the sport. Edlinger has been known mostly for his famous free solo climbs on multi-pitch routes in the Verdon, often even without shoes but always with a chalkbag, shorts and a headband. Back then, he was one of the top climbers in the world. He onsighted many 7c routes, which for many other well-known sport climbers was the unavailable RP level of difficulty. He was also one of the first to break the barrier of 8a (1983). In the late 80’s he set his own route Are You Ready which was one of the first lines in the world graded as high as 8b+. On his list there is a number of great ascents of the lines at that time considered cutting edge of sport climbing, e.g. Specialists 8b+, Maginot Line 8b+/c and Agincourt 8c.
Patrick Edlinger (photo: geneticmatrix.com)
In 1995 Edlinger had a severe accident in the area of Calanques. A 6-meter fall on a 7b route caused cardiac arrest but, fortunately, the normal blond flow to the heart was restored by the doctor. From that moment, Edlinger gave up on professional practice of sport climbing, which did not prevented him from sending one 8a after another, just for sheer pleasure.
The world of climbing has lost another legend; an individual that was not afraid to push standards forward and for many years inspired the climbing communities around the world.
Sources: ledauphine.com, dpmclimbing.com, climbing.com,