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jmlangford


May 2, 2002, 5:48 PM
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Greatest Mountaineering Feat By An American?
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Just wondering what you think is the greatest mountaineering feat by an American?

My first choice to get the ball rolling is the traverse of Everest by my dad's old climbing partner Willi Unsoeld and Dr. Thomas Hornbein in 1963. The second choice would be the ascent of the Kangshung face of Everest by Ed Webster and others in 1988.

There are others but these were the first two that popped into my mind.

[ This Message was edited by: jmlangford on 2002-05-02 19:24 ]


apollodorus


May 2, 2002, 6:36 PM
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How about Jim Bridwell's 300+ foot fall on Half Dome (Zenith, I think)?


sizzlechest


May 2, 2002, 8:17 PM
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George Lowe's North Face of North Twin in the Canadian Rockies is still a legendary feat, not exactly mountaineering but still really impressive !!


Partner polarwid


May 2, 2002, 9:21 PM
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Kennedy and George Lowe's Infinite Spur on Foraker, right after they completed the Kennedy-Lowe Route on Hunter, in which Jeff broke his ankle and they rescued him and reclimbed the route. What a month of climbing!!!


onbelay_osu


May 7, 2002, 3:40 PM
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I think it is the 1930s attempt @ K2 with paul petzholdt, though they did not make the summit they discovered new things and possibley revolutionized mountaineering read the book savage mountain


jmlangford


May 7, 2002, 6:58 PM
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Yeh...On belay may just be right. I'm looking at Savage Mtn. on my bookshelf right now. Considering what kind of gear and clothing they had back then...that was a pretty amazing feat!


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May 10, 2002, 4:25 PM
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I don't know how many people have heard of John Mallon Waterman, but his first ascent of the SOUTHEAST SPUR of MOUNT HUNTER in July of 1978 must rank as one of the all-time greatest efforts in mountaineering history. Read about his ascent in HIGH ALASKA by Jonathan Waterman (no relation).
To summarize his ascent, he made the first solo of Mount Hunter, by a new route (rated ALASKA GRADE 6), and also completed the first traverse of the mountain. It took him 145 DAYS!!! He carried about 1,000 pounds of equipment and ferried his own loads on the mountain, so he climbed it dozens of times. In 1977, several of the best climbers of the day could not pass a 350 foot overhanging section, in 1978, he cracked it solo in three days.
He was considered eccentric, but this feat must rank up there with the greatest of all time, not just by an AMERICAN!!!

[ This Message was edited by: polarwid on 2002-05-10 16:26 ]


jmlangford


May 10, 2002, 4:50 PM
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Wasn't he Guy and Laura Waterman's son?


Partner polarwid


May 10, 2002, 5:14 PM
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I neglected to mention that fact, yes he was the son of GUY and LAURA. He apparently died in 1981, when he decided to solo a new route on DENALI. He was last seen hiking up the NORTHWEST FORK of the RUTH GLACIER, with only a day pack. Despite extensive searches, his body was never recovered.


jmlangford


May 10, 2002, 5:17 PM
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Some say he committed suicide on that trip, just like his father did years later. Makes you wonder what kind of torment bothered them. Regardless, what a great mountaineering family.


graniteboy


May 10, 2002, 6:24 PM
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John waterman was crazy, & Tough were those Lowes,
And Ed Webster lost just a few of his toes.
Though Willi And Hornbein climbed hard for their day; the sherpas still make their climb look like kid's play.
Johnny Muir climbed in hobnails and slept in a coat, a hundred years sooner, he climbed like a goat.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.


jmlangford


May 10, 2002, 8:21 PM
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Chris...did you write that yourself?


Partner polarwid


May 21, 2002, 2:58 PM
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GRANITEBOY---you need to submit some of that OUTSTANDING poetry to the CLIMBING ART section...ROTFLMAO!!!


climber1


May 22, 2002, 12:45 PM
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Mugs Stump and Jim Bridwell's ascent of the Moose's Tooth's east face.
or Alex Lowe's traverse of the Tetons. too many.


kaptk


Jun 2, 2002, 5:56 AM
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I will admit that I don't know much about mountaineering, but Messner's (sp?) being the first to climb all of the 8,000+ meter peaks should maybe be considered.


Partner polarwid


Jun 5, 2002, 11:20 AM
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Sorry KAPTK...
Last time I checked, Messner was NOT American, check out the Greatest All Around Climber thread, though...


elvislegs


Jun 5, 2002, 12:31 PM
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I don't remember the three climbers names, I'm sure someone else will. I read a sort of essay / trip report a while back, about a certain speed ascent of the Czec Direct route on Denali. After looking at the route, the speed, and manner in which they climbed, I would say that it is a competitor in this little contest.
Also, coincidentally, the essay was mainly based on the thesis of (and I paraphrase) 'American climbers are lazy and scared so they don't push the limits like their European counterparts' Don't know if I agree completely given Ed Viesters Exploits etc. but I felt it had some merit, especially coming from an American climber.

[ This Message was edited by: elvislegs on 2002-06-05 12:53 ]


feelio


Jun 5, 2002, 12:45 PM
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it's gotta be "THE catch", by pete Schoening on K2. When was the last time a single dude, caught and held that many falling climbers?????


jmlangford


Jun 5, 2002, 5:43 PM
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Yes, Pete Schoenig had a great moment, I'll give you that. The more I think about it, the Sourdough's ascent of Mt. McKinley is right there at the top. Amazing feat!


jmlangford


Jun 5, 2002, 5:52 PM
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elvislegs...The three climbers you are referring to were Steve House, Mark Twight, and Scott Backes. They climbed Czech Direct in 60 hours, alpine style. The FA team took 11 days with fixed ropes.


biggernhell


Jun 10, 2002, 1:23 PM
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OOOOH! This is tough. Alex Lowes Teton traverse, Czeck Direct in 60, The Catch, How does a person decide? How about anything by Mugs Stump?


elvislegs


Jun 10, 2002, 1:35 PM
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Just to throw one more out there. . .
The previously mentioned Ed Viesters is slowly ticking off all the 8,000 M's with no Oxygen. What is it now, one left? (Again I am bad with the details.) But that's a pretty big feat!


rollingstone


Aug 2, 2002, 2:17 PM
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In re: John Waterman, Laura and Guy's son; I am finishing Jonathon Waterman's book In the Shadow of Denali, and he gives a very good insight into the character and personality of Johnny Waterman. I think most people don't know about him, and his personal torments kept him from much, but I agree his ascent of Hunter is absolutely astounding. Many younger (<35) may not even recognize his name, but check out the info from sources of the time period, and few will argue that his ascent is incredible!!!


jmlangford


Aug 3, 2002, 6:38 PM
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Elvislegs...all Viesturs has left is Annapurna and Nanga Parbat. Since he is very cautious and doesn't take unnecessary chances, he might not ever do Annapurna. That mountain requires excessive risk taking just because of the avalanche danger. I also have to give a vote to Lowe and Kennedy on the Infinite Spur.


chadplusplus


Aug 6, 2002, 2:17 PM
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I thought Viesturs was on Annapurna right now... Microsoft was the expedition sponsor, and that was his last 8000er.

I'll do some further research...

Ok, after some research, Ed made an unsucessful attept at Annapurna back in May. So he still needs to climb Annapurna and Nanga Parbat.

Check out the expedition site.

[ This Message was edited by: chadplusplus on 2002-08-06 14:33 ]

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