• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
  • TNB: Bring It On, Bitch!
  • TNB: What Would Warren Harding Do?
  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
  • TNB: Chris Sharma and The Art of Jeep Maintenance
  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher Send Zodiac (VI 5.13d) on El Cap
    Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher Send Zodiac (VI 5.13d) on El Cap
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid


    Edlinger in repose. This photo is by Robert Exertier and is a screenshot from <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1-58EfWpo">THIS VIDEO</a>. “Snowbird!” he said with delight.

    I knew that face. That waving, sunlit wheatfield of hair. Who didn’t? Patrick Edlinger was strolling along the broad and grassy top of the high crag near Gap, France. Mike and I had just finished a several-pitch route—a 5.12a that was, typically for the cliff, sustained and with spaced gear (in fear, I’d hung)—at the grand cliff of Céüse, central France.

    The friendly exclamation was occasioned by my head. Headgear. In the slamming sunshine, I was wearing a white baseball cap (actually a visor, though I can hardly bear to admit it, ever since Jonathan Thesenga derided those as “Climbing Deal Breakers”), with a Snowbird insignia.

    Our faces lit up. Practically capering, Mike and I told Edlinger we’d been there when he won the first climbing World Cup in the United States, the only entrant to go over what then seemed a gargantuan overhang up on the side of the Cliff Lodge, Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah. It was Edlinger’s biggest win during what turned out to have been a surprisingly short competition career.

    I know that only because I have just been reading a beautifully written retrospective feature on Edlinger, who died suddenly a year and a half ago at only 52. The story, to run in our next issue, is by the English climber/author Ed Douglas, who several years ago brought us a haunting feature on Kurt Albert.

    It’s hard to overstate Edlinger’s importance to the sport. Films of him climbing and soloing in Buoux and the Verdon, especially one in 1982 showing a moment where he, ropeless, pauses on a roof to hang by one hand and chalk up, took his image worldwide.

    I remember seeing a young male American climber or two at the time, thankfully roped, suddenly hanging by one hand to chalk up, especially in the presence of a camera.

    This biography, on which Edlinger was collaborating at the time of his death, was published a year ago.Edlinger was an ideal candidate for film, because he had a particularly beautiful style of climbing. And was himself a lanky beauty. The tousled hair helped, too.

    His presence helped popularize and legitimize sport climbing, ushering in the inspired and youthful masses. But he not only did the hardest sport climbs of his time, he climbed everything: from mountain routes in the Alps to many trad and desert routes, as well as hard boulder problems, with repeated visits to the United States.

    This week I have perused many photos of him, especially those in the 300-page biography Patrick Edlinger (Guérin Editions) by Jean-Michel Asselin, with whom Edlinger worked right up to his sudden, unexpected death.

    I was struck by how few of the images show Edlinger smiling.

    Patrick seemed well-liked in America after his visits, and while here he caused a sensation, both by doing the hardest routes quickly and through his persona and retinue—traveling with a personal photographer and dazzling girlfriend. He was downright otherworldly. He remains, especially here, enigmatic.

    In his own country, Edlinger was separated geographically from many others of the top climbers, and he shot so high so fast into the firmament that it was perhaps bound to create rivalry. His nicknames Le Blond—and Dieu (God)—weren’t always intended too nicely, and his brooding photos probably didn’t help. In them he can look too soulful. Self-conscious. But the era, of the first climbing professionalism, was redolent with photo-readiness, especially among the open-minded Europeans. And Edlinger’s image blew up when he was only 24.

    “Your stardom overwhelmed you,” Antoine Le Ménestrel wrote on ukclimbing.com upon Edlinger’s death. “You were sensitive, and I admire your courage.”

    Ed Douglas’s piece explores both Edlinger’s great and richly varied climbing career, and eventual isolation and depression. When the early reports came out about Edlinger’s sudden death, many thought it was suicide.

    Edlinger put up line upon line at Céüse. Many climbers have called it the most beautiful crag in the world. Photo by Mark Anderson.When any life ends early and sadly, you wonder if, and hope, it was meaningful.

    Patrick had a multitude of successes, but I think of Céüse, to which he turned his attention as he segued out of competitions, as one of the best. For all the adulation Edlinger received, as Marc Le Ménestrel wrote on ukclimbing.com, he was dismayed when the two of them went climbing at Fontainebleau and immediately attracted 30 watchers. “Patrick, who hated it (he enjoyed quietness),” Marc wrote, “tried to be as discreet as possible.”

    Edlinger put up line upon line at Céüse, made it a destination, created and bequeathed exhilaration and athleticism in that quiet, windy setting at the end of an hour-long uphill hike. Many climbers have called it the most beautiful crag in the world. I think of it as a monument.

    * * *

    While many of Edlinger’s ascents in Europe are recorded and will be cited in our feature, information on his climbs in the United States is harder to come by; below is a draft compilation. Please make any corrections or add any information. Readers out there will surely have gems of knowledge.

    Edlinger always liked the United States, and he made many trips here. He especially loved Hueco Tanks.

    In an obituary in Gripped, Timy Fairfield listed free soloes of the Naked Edge in Eldo and Asteroid Crack at Joshua Tree among Edlinger’s climbs. In correspondence, Fairfield recalls that he received the Naked Edge info from the now-deceased Charlie Fowler. If either or both of these soloes occurred, does anyone know when?

    Edlinger did an early double-dyno boulder problem in Joshua Tree in 1985. Anyone know its name?

    And a highball boulder problem in Hueco Tanks called High Pro Glow. Info?



    • In Colorado, Edlinger onsighted Genesis (5.12c/d) and redpointed Rainbow Wall (5.13a) in Eldorado, and made essentially a one-day ascent of Sphinx Crack (5.13b) in the South Platte. He did it in less than 24 hours, having arrived in late afternoon and gotten very high on his first try, then sent it his second try, the next morning. 
    • In New York, he flashed Gravity’s Rainbow (5.12), Supercrack and Thunderdome (both 5.12+), and Intruders (5.12d/13a), the Shawangunks.
    • In California, he nearly flashed the testpiece Grand Illusion (5.13c), Tahoe area. Asked by e-mail how many tries it took, Gérard Kosicki, a photographer who worked with him for 10 years, replies, “I'd say on the third? He was using for the first time some hand-made prototype ‘quickies’ we just bought in Yosemite … and was afraid none of them would work in case he jumped very hard!” Kosicki calls the effort “maybe the most impressive performance of our 1985 tour-book!” Edlinger onsighted Equinox (5.12c), Joshua Tree.



    • While making the film "Arrowhead", Edlinger climbed at Smith Rock, Oregon, doing many 5.13s though he was thwarted on White Wedding, a 5.14a. Recalls Russ Clune, an American who traveled and climbed with him, “He worked it a couple of days and then one morning sent the crux, only to have a hold blow on him at a rest stance. Lots of French curse words….” 
    • Says Clune of Edlinger’s visits, “He pretty much hiked the routes and he was a damn good boulderer.” 
    • Edlinger flashed When Legends Die (5.13b), Hueco Tanks.



    • Flashed Superfresh (5.12d) in the Flatirons, Boulder.


    This clip is the classic newscast on the 1988 World Cup at Snowbird, Utah. Patrick Edlinger appears at 1:15. Also see Christian Griffith at 1:18, Ron Kauk—taking a mondo fall—at 1:21, and Marc Le Ménestrel in an awful one at 1:29. A teenage Scott Franklin focuses, 2:46. The big daddy fall of all is by Dan Goodwin in the last seconds of the clip, at 5:00. Consider it a bonus Weekend Whipper, on Tuesday.


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