On Tuesday, March 14, California rock-climbing and big-wall pioneer Royal Robbins passed away at age 82. Born February 3, 1935, Robbins ushered in the development of many modern free- and aid-climbing techniques and standards. In 1952, Robbins made the first free ascent of the Open Book in Tahquitz, California, pushing free climbing standards to 5.9. Five years later, he, Jerry Galwas, and Mike Sherrick completed the first ascent of the Northwest Face of Half Dome over five days.
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IMAGE: Royal Robbins. Photo: Tom Frost; CC BY-SA 3.0