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Top-10 climber ever
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2004-10-08 12:52:36    
We are preparing an article where the best climber ever will be ranked. What's your opinion? This is our improvised list but we are still searching for info.
1. Hirayama - 8b+ OS -99, 8c OS -04, W Champ, W Cup -98 & 00
2. Sharma - 9a+, World silver at 16, 2 WC boulder wins
3. Hill
4. Huber
5. Bereziartu - 9a, 8B, All Time #16, 1 Boulder WorldCup event,
6. Legrand
7. Güllich
8. Nicole
9. Usobiaga
10. Sansoz, Koyamada, F Petit, Erbesfield, Graham, Chabot, Moffat, Rouhling, Bernabe, Sarkany, Andrada, Cakdwell, Mrazek, Caldwell and Calibani
OffLine TJ
  2004-10-08 16:32:17    
The 10 best climbers ever. That's really hard to tell (are we just talking about sportclimbing?)! But your list is definitely crap. Güllich among others on 10 ??!! What about women climbers (e.g. Lynn Hill)? The Hubers? etc. Have fun and good luck with info searching. There is still a lot of work waiting for you, I guess.
OffLine headcrank
  2004-10-09 07:37:18    
looks like a popularity contest instead. what about klem loskot? garth miller, ben moon jerry moffat iker pou blah blah blah
OffLine Marcin Kantecki
  2004-10-09 09:03:12    
W. Gullich and in woman kat. L .Hill. than a big gap before the next....
OffLine geson
  2004-10-12 17:17:49    
no way...absolutely Gullich is number one, he is the story of free climbing!!!
OffLine moonshine
  2004-10-12 18:13:24    
tommy caldwell never gets respect on this site...let's see...

Kryptonite 14d, Flex Luthor 15a? fa's

6 free yosemite big walls, dihedral wall at 14a

Automator V13 second ascent

Hell, the guy climbed EVERYTHING at rifle before he was 21

he deserves a top seat for sure

Seems like plastic climbing is waaaay overvalued in this ranking wheras proficiency on actual rock is overlooked. Perhaps in that same spirit we should all start recording our climbing gym sends on our scorecards, then...
OffLine ARock
  2004-10-13 13:42:50    
Yeah and he is missing a finger too...
OffLine salt laker
  2004-10-13 16:53:00    
I think Yuji or Caldwell...Sharma would not make the list in my book...even if we were just talking sport climbing.

I would go with kids like Adam Stack over Graham or Sharma. 9a and the free Salathe...

of all time...hard to be young and have the proper perspective, but Kauk, Bachar, Gullich, Edlinger...

Lyn Hill and Josune...for the ladies. hands down. whatever happened to Liv? oh thats right she got dropped
OffLine D.Nguyen
  2004-10-15 22:39:16    
This sound interesting to hear what these athletes have to say about their sport/lifestyle.
OffLine Olivac
  2004-10-16 10:13:31    
What about TomᚠMrázek??? This year he wants to win the World Cup. He is the World Champion of 2003. Youth World Champion of 2002. He did 9a and several 8b+ OS. When he will strike only for rocks you will see who is the best on rock!!!
:))) REMEMBER this...
OffLine Lars r
  2004-10-16 14:48:59    
Kurt Albert is very god!
OffLine User Deactivated
  2004-10-21 18:35:55    
what about thomas bubendorfer?????
OffLine Lukas Sam
  2004-11-16 08:24:59    
Markus Bock mustn't be forgotten!
OffLine Olivac
  2004-11-22 08:53:04    
Whoooow and it is HERE !!! Tomas Mrazek is a World Cup Champion :))) Congratulation...
OffLine foxmulder
  2004-11-22 09:50:02    
My opinion is that such a ranking shouldn't ever prescind from considering the ones who really pushed climbing limits far ahead. So it shouldn't ever prescind the field these improvements took place (bouldering, sport climbing, mountaineering, big walls). Hence, seeing Chabot mentioned so close to Gullich is pretty disappointing, even with all the respect and the consideration I may have for the Frenchman.
I don't want to say that climbing lots of 8c+'s and some 9a's is easy, but the weight of climbing the first 9a ever or the first 8c onisght or even the first 8b+ on alpine wall etc. must be taken into consideration while ranking top-climbers ever.
By the way, and not only because I'm italian, where's Manolo?
OffLine Steve Amstutz
  2004-11-22 12:03:31    
The best climber ever is Wolfgang Güllich.
First 8c, 8c+ and 9a, what more?
In fact Action Direct was 11 UIAA which is 8c+/9a and look how many people repeated it and look how many news 9a we have around the world. Maybe there is something wrong with the grading...
OffLine Steve Amstutz
  2004-11-23 09:07:06    
And what about Elie Chevieux (first climber two onsight 8b+, two 8b+ in fact), Fred Nicole (probably the best boulderer), Klem Loskot, Fred Rouhling, Steve Mc Clure, Jerry Moffat, Ben Moon etc... No really it's not possible to rank the best climbers and I find the idea stupid. Why do we have to rank the best climbers? Competitions is there for that...
OffLine E *
  2004-11-24 10:24:45    
Güllich had never did a 8c+...
OffLine slopergroper
  2004-11-24 17:10:52    
Well, this is interesting. I don't think there is ever a way to tell an uncomplicated history, or to establish some ranking of who was the 'best' of all time. However, there seem to be some figures who have made a particualr impact on our sport beyond others:

If you talk about sport climbing, the list must include Güllich at the top. Certainly the list cannot omit Bereziartu and Usobiaga.
As far as sport climbing and bouldering (especially in the US), the list must include Sharma, I think, because he is really the first wunderkind. Certainly, we now have plenty of harder climbing members of the species - Graham, Chabot, etc. - but their popularity only came after the Sharma phenomena. If you talk about competition climbing, what about Erbesfield and LeGrand? Or what about Katie Brown for being the wunderkind of plastic? Sansoz? If you make a list of boulderers, you must weigh Loskot, Koyamada, Rands, Miller, Zangerl, etc. against Nicole, who has established more groundbreaking problems than anyone.
Finally, how do you measure this against the amazing lifetime achievements of some climbers? The list here is clearly topped by Lynn Hill (remember, the Nose has yet to be repeated!) But must surely include Alex Huber, Yuji Hirayama, Jerry Moffat, Tommy Caldwell, etc. ... And what about the starters of it all? Royal Robbins and his European counterparts? Second wave superstars like Kauk and Bachar? Their place in history seems secure, but how do you fit their accomplishments onto a list?

As others have mentioned, there are so many other inspirational climbers - now and then - I think that this task of ONE LIST is an impossible endeaver. However, it is nice to see everyone honor their heroes by making a case for them here! Cheers to ALL the greats!!!
OffLine Dirk Mol
  2004-11-24 22:19:45    
Strange top 10.
Gullich must be higher for sure. Think about the history of climbing.
Where are people like Edlinger, Moon, Moffat, Glowac, Mrazek (already), McClure, Rouhling, Godoffe, Chevieux (who already climbed 8b+ like ten years ago)...?
A bit more respect for Caldwell would be nice too.

This is a hard job, creating a all-time-top-10, and maybe it's not that important anyway. Everybody has it's own place in history.
OffLine Steve Amstutz
  2004-11-25 16:45:37    
You are right sorry no 8c+, but Action Direct is 8c+/9a and Wall Street 8c.
What about John Gill, Johnny Dawes, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Stephan Glowacz?
And the unbeatable Malcolm Smith?
So once again I see no point to rank climbers, as well as 8a.nu, we must take it as a joke!!!
OffLine ProgDario
  2004-11-26 09:47:52    
So, where is CRISTIAN BRENNA??
OffLine Guitou
  2004-12-01 14:17:40    
When you accpet such a list does make sense (which is to be proved ;) ) I think Yuji should definitely be number one.
He is without any doubt the more polyvalent climber of all time (onsight number one, among redpoint nnumber ones with Flat moutain and in different style -from les Eaux-Claires to tufs crags, winner of world cup events, hard(est) onsights in trad climbing -sphinx crack-, big walls freed and almost on-sight).

In comparison, for example Gullich is a great climber but he performed only redpoint, not onsight, and in a very specific style. However Gullich also did impressive big-walls.

Also Yuji has the reputation to be very honest and very kind. is it true , I don't know but it seems to be.

In the other hand you can aso choose climber who have something particular, and who not only did hard routes. like Johnny Dawes and its crazy routes on gritstone.

OffLine James O'Connor
  2004-12-09 01:39:57    
I would second the vote for Tommy Caldwell, I mean all around: V13, 9a+ and a 9a sport, Dihedral Wall, tons of 5.13s on trad what more would you want? What about Dean Potter? Maybe its just because I am American.....
OffLine eskalada.net
  2004-12-13 20:03:07    
Nobody has mentioned Iker Pou. Action Direct (9a), Baind du Sang (9a), Mendeku (9a), The Nose (1100m, 8a+), Zunbeltz (600, 8b+), El Niño (1000m, 8b), Bravo les filles (8b, 600m)

And so more.... Iker is one of the most polivalent climbers ever!
OffLine tom kern
  2004-12-15 07:46:55    
i think you can't tell generally. Climbing has so many aspects of skills which you can't really compare. Alpine super hero will be lost in a hard cruxy 7C, you guys know what i'm suggestin...
OffLine Steve Amstutz
  2004-12-15 10:34:22    
Once again forget about ranking the climbers. There is not point to do that. And it's impossible to tell who is the best, because there is not only one climber who can be number one. Our sport is so rich, from climbing, to bouldering, big walls, ice climbing etc. That's also why rock climbing is such a particular sport (no sorry way of life) and we don't need to be ranked like in other sports.
Why do we have to know who is the best? Why do we have to compare each others?

OnLine Milky "Dad-Bod" Williams
  2005-03-11 02:47:02    
This list is looks very good for me.
OffLine Urbi
  2006-02-16 20:33:35    
I think güllich was and is the best, he climbed 15years ago and very hard routs Action direct(9a) punks in the gym(8b+)...
i think he is the father of sport climbing
OffLine User Deactivated
  2006-03-17 17:42:21    
Tommy Caldwell should definitely be on the list.
OffLine tyson schoene
  2006-04-13 23:46:54    
patrick edlinger
jacky goddoffe
OffLine djsulli
  2006-07-23 22:46:13    


You also have to ask, are they the best, or more so "important" in there influence on the sport. John Gill was an important figure and climbed hard routes a generation before anyone, Fred Rhouling has climbed argueably the hardest sport routes, sharma is this generations Gullich, etc, etc...
OffLine k
  2006-12-21 07:18:06    
OffLine sebastian bush
  2006-12-28 17:13:49    
Gullich is number 1!!! and don't forget manolo...
OffLine abc-climbing.com
  2007-01-10 09:12:30    
Downgrade Action directe
? ! ?

I'm leaving a bit the topic of this discussion aside. But I'm surprised to see the posting of Adam Jones, pointing out AD as 8c+/9a, without any comment. Even though that I'm far way from this routes, isn't it so that AD is (should be) the benchmark for any new 9a? Well, following the statistics of Jens that newer routes tend to be overrated, lowering the benchmarc would automaticaley lower all new route. Pretty smart ;-)
OffLine md
  2007-01-12 03:25:56    
Are we talking steroids or no steroids ???
OffLine Dan Cannaday
  2007-01-16 15:48:39    
Ok so this is truely impossible for every reason everyone has already mentioned but its still fun. Here's my top 10 without thinking too much and not in any particular order,

Caldwell-8B, 8b+ bigwall, 9a FA, 9a+ FA (unrepeated?), tons of 8a and harder trad
Hirayama-8B+, 8c OS (first to do this), 9a+ FA, numerous plastic accomplishments, 8a+ free bigwall (hard to argue with this list of all around accomplishments)
Sharma-8C, 9a+, the Arch, the staunch refusal to grade climbs, the inspiration to a new generation of climbers
Lynn Hill- the Nose, "it goes boys"
Gullich-Action Direct, took sport climbing to new levels changed everyone's idea of what is possible
Dani Andrada- most prolific sport climber in history
Fred Nicole- most prolific boulderer in history (even if he does overgrade climbs he still climbs frickin hard and his tick list is miles long)
Bereziartu- (I hate the double standard between men and women but its there and this woman could almost be mentioned without it)
The Stonemasters- Kauk, Bachar, Sorensen, Long, etc. (sort of cheating to use a group of people but really this was the first climbing team and collectively they pushed each other and climbing in general to new levels)
The Brits- Moffat, Dawes, and in a different era Dave Macleod for having the biggest balls in history

Dave Graham didn't make my list of top ten because he has always been in the shadow of others which might be unfair but when it comes to setting new standards and pushing climbing to new levels I just haven't seen it out of him in comparison with those in my top 10. Similarly with Pou, Loskot, and Koyamada. Plastic pullers don't get respect from me because I think gyms suck the life out of climbing (a personal gripe).I have all the respect in the world for Fred Rouhling but one climb isn't enough for me to put him in the top 10 of all time.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2007-01-19 19:42:37    
Folks- It's a question laden with issues such as:
1) It's not an "absolute", "objective", determination. The best climbers of 10, 20, 50 years ago are all relative to the benchmark standard at the time.
I'd answer it in the context of the then defined frontier for climbing.
2) Climbing- What kind of climbing?
Alpine, Trad, Sport etc.
Although here you might argue that the climber that demonstrates ability across a number of disciplines should get extra credit.
3) Climbing is a Head Game. What greater challenge than not knowing whether the gear would hold a fall? (i.e. no cams, no bolt hangers, no screamers....)
4) The criteria has to include VISION: An unknown quantity that catches the eye, imagination, and supreme effort of a climber.

In any case, with these caveats and concerns in mind:
here are some of my nominees:

Walter Bonatti (how about a solo!, FA, onsight of the Dru !!!!! Talk about pushing the boat out.....might as well have burned the boat before stepping in)

Henry Barber (aka Hot Henry): I still meet Aussies who swear that he's Australian based on the impact he made on the grades there.
And that ignores all the other climbing areas around the world that felt his impact.
Finally, as with Bonatti, he did it on "primative gear". You know any climbers who pushed the boundaries on nuts and a bowline on a bight for a "harness"? ((by the way he still shuns
cams and harnesses as the devils work))

Lynn Hill- Talk about VISION (the Nose in a Day). Plus she made an impact on Comp Climbing and Sport climbing.

The Hubers - What more do you need to hear about their output? Alpine, sport, trad, solo, big wall....

Rheinhold Meissner- Alpine ascents, solos, big walls....

Tommy Caldwell- Trad and Sport at the bleeding edge.

wouldn't disagree with another post highlighting
Ron Kauk, Bachar, ...

Climbing, imho, is more than what place you finished, or clipping bolts. Those are definitely metrics in the sport, but I would argue, very narrow definitions of climbing achievement.

Please don't confuse this as dissing incredible athletes like
Sharma, Graham, Josune, Hirayama etc. I just believe that climbing is bigger than just sport climbing and bouldering.
(as much as I enjoy both)

OffLine Delete Me
  2007-01-22 17:03:30    
I vote Garth Miller
OffLine Pies
  2007-02-04 12:52:54    
I agree! Garth Miller definately deserves his name on that list
OffLine Emilio Arciello
  2007-04-22 22:24:34    
Ben Moon
OffLine Emil Jespersen
  2007-04-22 22:58:33    
what about Fred Rouhling?
OffLine Emil Jespersen
  2007-04-22 22:58:42    
what about Fred Rouhling?
OffLine Senya Iaryguine
  2007-04-25 23:51:14    
Honestly, could one imagine a list of the top ten climbers ever? This is such a diverse subject to announce ten people the best. It would make more sense if it was the best at bouldering or route climbing, etc., but only one division for ten of the worlds best?                                               -Senya Iaryguine
OffLine Michelle Smith (f)
  2007-04-26 01:48:42    
Monkeys Geckos Lizards Ants Poison Ivy Spiders Sloths Snakes Muir Cats Lynn Hill
OffLine Nathan Cando
  2007-04-26 04:19:27    
hey meesh! what about me! i don't quite know how to put this but...i'm kind of a big deal. i'm very important. i have many important leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany!

i've also climbed 8 feet! above protection one time!
OffLine Kyle Boehm
  2008-04-24 10:37:12    
tori allen, nate gold, obe.....
OffLine Scott Noy
  2008-04-24 15:31:48    
The big problem with ranking the best climber ever is that it covers Traditional, Sport, Bouldering and even big-wall and alpine?! Rank the climbers by the "Type of Climbing" or rank them by how they performed in all types! Hill must take the all round crown! Bouldering: Nicole Sport: Too many Trad: No idea???
OffLine Scott Noy
  2008-04-24 15:32:10    
OffLine Gabor Szekely
  2008-04-24 16:26:26    
nate gold and obe?? are you kidding?
OffLine Jason Williams
  2008-04-24 16:28:46    
There's so many different ways this could go down. So many different disciplines... influence, accomplishments, diversity. They all play a part. And I won't presume that I even know all of the climbers in the world who deserve a mention. But it seems that if I've heard of them, not just in passing, but mentioned over and over again, there's a reason. I don't even have to mention the one's that enter most of our minds. And there's probably more than 10. I think lists of each discipline (bouldering, sport, trad, big wall, solo, ice, aid, mountaineer) would be appropriate. Certainly any climber can receive honors in more than one category, but it would take a committee to decide which particulars deserve more "points", i.e. who is "better": the strongest climber, physically, ever (but only in, say sport climbing), or the more prolific, well rounded climber (climbing slightly less difficult routes, but across all disciplines), or even the climber putting up the most hard FA's, making them more proactive in the sport itself, more "creative", shall we say? How can you say a 9A boulderer who just never had an interest in roping up (but could probably send 8c routes) is less worthy than any roped climber? Who deserves more honor?  From my personal witnessing, no one has made routes and boulders I struggled up look easier than Mike Reardon and John Bachar, so I can only imagine that the other intensely strong free soloists like Macleod do the same, and this mental and physical strength is worthy of mention, even if we are reserved in our glorification of such a "dangerous" version of our passion. Sharma has been the most prolific developer THAT I KNOW OF in my generation. Hard routes, boulder problems, quietly running up hard trad routes in the desert, and deep water soloing at an intensely difficult level for a sustained period of time makes it hard to argue he's up there somewhere. But there are others who have done it longer who just haven't been in every video on the shelf, and younger faces like Ethan Pringle and Daniel Woods putting those old benchmark projects to bed with the quickness, with whom only time and expereince set them apart from those we already know.  Of course, can't forget that Lynn Hill has done more difficult climbs in all disciplines than any other woman I know of. She gets a seat for sure. And as you can see, I know no ice climbers or mountaineers, but have respect for the skill necessary to perform those feats just as well, but how do we compare. Whose the better athlete, Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.... they both play with a ball, and try to put it in a hole, it's the same right? This is a tough game, but there is a lot of respect to be given to a lot more than 10 people. Split it up and everyone will be able to be a lot more agreeable I think...  Cool to think about though!
OffLine Tommy "The" Wilson
  2008-04-24 17:08:08    
this would be easier (and by easier I mean far less hilariously improbable) if you split the "rankings" into decades.  that way you can eliminate cross-decade comparisons and  look at relative impact on the sport.  that is, it is impossible for, say, Dave Graham or Dani Andrada to compare to John Gill or Wolfgang Gullich.  sure, they can climb the same lines and even put up harder routes, but they live in a different historical moment for climbing that doesn't allow the same 'type' of bedrock -ground floor - impact.
OffLine Marco Troussier
  2008-04-24 19:13:30    
Bad question. Jet set point of vue, no intererest
It could be much more interesting to (try to) know, who was the most (one of the ) influencing climber in the the "modern era of free clibming" then you have a good chance to find/ John Bachar.
Remember, ALL the climbers of the world have done a pilgrimage in Cam 4 in the late seventies and early eaghties. And then they copy (and improve) a model founded in the USA. Free climbing, solo, training etc....  
OffLine NFB
  2008-04-25 02:47:51    
Fred Beckey? Voytek Kurtka? Messener? Viesturs? Doug Scott? Greg Collins? Hammish MacInnes... Come on guys...
OffLine Mac Casey
  2008-04-25 06:12:35    
Umm whomever mentioned the nose having yet to be repeated open a magazine its been repeated and in a day.  Obe...i mean no disrespect to the man he is strong but nowhere close to the rest of these mutantly strong people this list is like asking what are the ten best climbs in the world cant be answered
OffLine Wyzehamster le hamster
  2008-04-27 05:34:05    
just go out climbing!
OffLine DWF
  2008-05-17 02:00:29    
This list must be segmented And i prefer a HALL OF FAME LIST. I will take a shoot at:

Alpine (no ranking):
The Everest explorers not just the FA team but all of them
OffLine John Meget
  2008-05-17 07:56:45    
In several years, one name will easily top this list IMO.  Adam Ondra.  Expect him eventually to onsight 9a+.  God knows what he may one day send. 
OffLine J.Gunn
  2008-06-06 06:04:38    
Currently, he seems to be dispatching anything he touches and only 15 years of age! It will be great to see what he can accomplish in the next decade for sure!
OffLine Ludwig Davidsson
  2008-06-07 18:33:14    
I think it might be impossible to fit in only ten climbers to the list, so much has been done over the years, and there has been/still are a lot of diffrent climbers raiseing the bars in diffrent ways. But I think that defenetly Dave Macleod should be on the list. And don't forget Jean - Baptiste Tribout, hes been a top climber for so long time now hes defenetly one of the pionners.
OffLine Baryboo
  2008-06-21 20:28:12    
This subject is four years old, a lot has changed since then.
OffLine Benjamin Dereeper
  2008-10-12 15:11:45    
Why not take an approach like rebuffat did for making a book about nice climbs? "Massif du Mont Blanc. Les 100 plus belles courses". ... "Sport climbing. The 100 predominant figures." - albert, gullich, ... ... "Alpinism. The 100 nutty guys that risked their lives to the max." By this, you don't have to come with a ridiculous number 1, which will be questioned by everyone. I'd enjoy more reading about climbers than comparing their achievements. I'm currently straight in the head so I'm up to putting my scorecard towards a logbook. :happy:
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-10-12 17:44:01    
We have many plans like the ones you are suggesting.
The alternative to make the 100 in an alphabetical order is interesting but maybe it works best if the list where just ten guys.
We will try to make more personal descriptions rather than comparing achievements.
OffLine Rob Bufkin
  2008-10-12 18:53:32    
Well if we are talking about best in the world. ill name out ten in the order i think. 1.Fred Nicole 2.Daniel Woods 3.Tommy Caldwell 4.James Pearson (Flashed 2 8b Boulders and done E12) 5.Dave Graham 6.Ty Landman 7.Dani Andrada 8.Adam Ondra (hes the future) 9.Ben Moon 10.Lisa Rands
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-10-12 20:33:07    
Top 10... Maybe, I say maybe if we picked a 100 names, everyone who might deserve to be on the list could be included, but to reach some kind of consensus on 10 names? No way.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2008-10-13 08:10:02    
My updated list of the most important, inspiring and influential persons in the history of climbing.
1. Charis Sharma 2. Lynn Hill 3. Yuji Hirayama 4. Wolfgang Güllich 5. Josune Bereziartu 6. Robyn Erbesfield 7. Frederic Nicole 8. Dani Andrada 9. Tommy Caldwell 10. Jon Gill 11. Patxi Usobiaga 12. David Graham 13. Liv Sansoz 14. Alexander Huber 15. Martina Cufar 16. James Pearson 17. Anna Stöhr 18. Adam Ondra 19. Ben Moon 20. Lisa Rands
OffLine brot
  2010-08-29 19:28:02    
bernd arnold
OffLine grubber
  2010-08-30 09:55:54    
exceeded two posts per topic.
OffLine A0 Climber
  2010-09-03 09:46:00    
A good Journalist should inform bout the news as it happens, the opinion should be figured out by citizens. In other words, 8a.nu should list the goals of climbers, and community should figure out their own opinion. Having seen this I would add that to find the best climber ever depends on the point of view. if you focus on the best sport climber, you deprecate trad, alpin, aid, etecetera.  To be honest, I would love to see a full list of goals but pointing out someone over others would not be fair for the rest of climbers. Let people figure out their own hero. I shall help you with the head line of the list. Men and Women Onsights Redpoints Trad Free Big wall Climbers who step on a new grade Gullich, Moon, etecetera. Aid climbing Other climbing achievements like  Lafalille, He was in the cutting edge as sport and Himalayan climber.
OffLine JJ Chacon
  2010-09-03 10:31:36    
OffLine JJ Chacon
  2010-09-03 10:31:50    
OffLine JJ Chacon
  2010-09-03 10:32:03    
bernabe fernandez: 8a 14 years old 8c  17 years old many 9a´s orujo 9a+ chilam balam 9b+
OffLine louis de cornulier
  2010-09-04 13:06:36    
Agree with A0… a single list will create frustration without pointing out what these few climbers have achieved and what makes them so important in free climbing history. I would personnaly stick strictly to free climbing and therefore exclude aid climbing, or simply mention a few names in an introduction.
My list of topics would be a little different and would include the following:
First ascent (Nicole, Sharma, Loskot, Huber)
First new grade (Gullich, Moon)
Hardest redpoint (Sharma, Andrada, Edlinger, Ondra, Graham, Rands, Bereziartu, Pou)
Hardest Onsight (Moffat, Durif, Hirayama)
Big Walls (Caldwell, Hill)
Trad (Kammerlander, McLeod)
Competition (Legrand, Ebersfield)
Solo (Bachar, Edlinger, Huber, Robert)
You can also divide certain categories by discipline (routes and bouldering) There are of course plenty of other names worth mentioning, and I think we could start by extracting all the names given in the question “who are your climbing heroes and why”, to have an idea about who actually has an impact on today’s climbing community.
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2010-09-04 13:53:16    
I think Alexander Huber has done it all and more... Sports climbing - ticked He climbed Open Air in 1996, which has now been graded 9a+ by Ondra. Was Huber then the first to ever climb a 9a+? Sports multipitch - Ticked End of Silence is part of the Alpine trilogy. Bellavista and Panaroma went even beyond, I reckon. Free solo - Ticked Dent du Geant, Grand Capucin, North Face of Cima Grande, Kommunist Speed climbing - Ticked Speed record on The Nose in 2007. High altitude/Expedition climbing - Ticked Eternal Flame on the Nameless Trango Tower plus other ascents in the Karakorum and in Patagonia.
OffLine paul snow
  2010-09-04 22:59:04    
So many great climbers. One name that always pops up on youtube Dan Osman, just to name one.
OffLine Kyle van House
  2010-09-06 05:28:04    
Guellich Sharma Graham Rands Nicole Caldwell Gill Kauk Yaniro Leavitt
OffLine Chris Kotke
  2011-01-30 18:28:23    
I'm really surprised not a single person has mentioned Peter Croft under any argument!  
OffLine elizondoman
  2011-02-23 17:35:13    
What about the great Catherine Destivelle?
OffLine Davide Donadio
  2011-06-30 01:31:47    
In terms of absolute difficulty Adam Ondra is by far number 1. Then, if we want to mention those who made the history of climbing 10 spots are not enough. I was surprise not see John Bachar in the list. Other random names that should appear: Dean Potter, Alex Honold, Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk, Beth Rodden, ... how can one make a list?
OffLine Davide Donadio
  2011-06-30 01:31:57    
In terms of absolute difficulty Adam Ondra is by far number 1. Then, if we want to mention those who made the history of climbing 10 spots are not enough. I was surprise not see John Bachar in the list. Other random names that should appear: Dean Potter, Alex Honold, Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk, Beth Rodden, ... how can one make a list?
OffLine libre2grimper
  2011-06-30 15:17:06    
On purpose I do not try to rank the "old" climbers. They are true hero but I'm still too young to know too much about them.For the climbers of the modern era : (No specific order)Adam OndraYuji HirayamaAlex HuberFred NicoleWolfgang GullichChris SharmaTony Caldwell Ladies:Lynn HillJosune BereciartuCatherine Destivelle