Layton Kor slideshow
Posted by sibylle in slide shows, Colorado (Monday October 13, 2008 at 10:51 am)


The AAC Craggin Classic hosted Kor as their Guest of Honor

On October 9, we heard Layton Kor speak at Macky Auditorium. Neptune Mountaineering planned to host Kor, but after tickets sold out within nine minutes, Neptune’s and the American Alpine Club rethought the venue, settling on Macky auditorium, which seats 1,200 people. Even here, tickets sold out for 1,200 seats.

Jim Donini, who introduced Kor, said “One word: iconic. Here’s one climber that needs no introduction.”
So true. Everyone who climbs in Eldorado Canyon, Yosemite, or on desert towers has climbed at least one of his routes.
He showed slides of first ascents in Colorado (the Diamond), mentioning that he’d never liked the name “Lumpy Ridge”. Slides of towers near Moab, Yosemite, the Black Canyon and the Dolomites followed. He entertained us with great stories leavened with dry humor.

I climbed with Kor several times between 1987 and 1989. We first climbed at Red Rocks, after a trade show, and later Layton visited Boulder and we climbed at Eldorado Canyon.
In 1988 I was in Las Vegas and Kor asked me to go up on a new route on the Rainbow Wall. It appears that his two intended partners, Charlie Fowler and Randall Grandstaff, both suffered injuries shortly before the climb. I naively agreed, not realizing what we were in for. Eventually, Alison Sheets joined us in finishing a new route, Over the Rainbow (not in the book; we gave the topo to Joanne Urioste but someone else wrote the next guidebook).
Layton and I talked at length and became friends on our first attempt on the route, sitting on the bivvy ledge. I lost touch with him when he moved to the Philippines, as apparently did many others. Having not seen Layton in years, I was excited to see his slide show. Though ill (he’s raising money for his medical bills), he had the audience laughing at his jokes and amazed at the sheer extent of his climbing oeuvre. I doubt I’ll see a slide show like this one again.

Someone filmed the show and I think it will become available on DVD later.

Beyond The Void
Posted by sibylle in slide shows (Wednesday February 15, 2006 at 2:04 am)


Last Thursday I was lucky to see Simon Yates’s spectacular slide show, Beyond the Void, at Neptune’s. I say lucky, because I had no ticket - I had no idea that they sold tickets or that these might be sold out. As I was trying to convince the ticket collector that I was a friend of Gary Neptune’s, who would surely let me in … (I hoped), someone overheard my so far unconvincing argument that even though ticketless, I surely deserved to see this show.

“Let her in,” said the man, whom I knew only as the local librarian. We’d talked about trail running, and he told me he’d read my stories, but I’d never seen him outside the library. “She can take my place,” he continued. In the end, I got in to see one of the best shows I’d seen in years. I’ll have to ask him which of the things I wrote encouraged him to this kind act of charity.

Yates displayed typically British self-deprecating humor as he recounted his adventures, not only with Joe Simpson as described in Touching the Void, but around the world since then. He told how he set out to climb with “the accident-prone Simpson” in the Peruvian Andes (the scene of Simpson’s fall and miraculous survival after Yates cut the rope).

“They called me ‘Slasher’,” Yates recounted, describing how when working on construction sites in England, he’d find notes taped to his helmet, including “Mac the Knife”. “Not much you can do but laugh, really,” he said; and laugh I did, through much of the show. Yates showed stunning photos of the Andes, Alaska, and central Asia. He finished with photos of a trip to Tierra del Fuego in a friend’s ocean-going yacht. “You know you’re getting middle-aged when your friends own yachts,” he explained.

If this show is coming anywhere near you, I’d advise going out to buy a ticket soon and not relying on the kindness of others to see it.

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