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.