March 1, 2014

Charlie Porter

Charlie Porter was one of my climbing heroes. He was a very well rounded climber - he climbed rock, ice, alpine, big walls, everything - and climbed in an impeccable style. On the first ascent of New Dawn (a big wall route on El Capitan) he dropped one of his haulbags which contained most of his food, his sleeping bag, and other supplies. He was only a few hundred feet up and could have easily retreated but pushed on for nine days to the top. And oh yeah, he was climbing it solo.

He also did not do a lot of talking about what he climbed or self-promotion. Charlie Porter never had a blog. He made the first solo ascent of Denali's Cassin Ridge in 1976 in a time that would make present-day climbers proud. Only a few sentences were ever published about the climb at the time.

Charlie Porter died of heart failure about a week ago. A great article on and interview from the early 90's, including more information about both of those now legendary stories, can be found by clicking here.

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