Monday, November 19, 2012

Le Blond: RIP

Another climbing legend is gone. Details are completely lacking but a French newspaper has reported that rock legend Patrick Edlinger passed away last week, well before his time at 52. It does not seem as though it was climbing related.

Edlinger was a pioneer in the sport climbing movement but will be most remembered for his soloing on film, as well as his amazingly fluid style, which seemed to matter more to him than his achievements as he once said, "(sic) To only reach the top is a waste of time. What's important is that we do it in a way that is pleasing." DPM has a great compilation of his videos here. The one I've posted is a very French look at one of his rampages around the US, doing all of our hardest climbs at the time.

Sadly, there's no 'net postings of his showing at the first World Cup climbing competition in the US. This is the place I first saw him climb and it had a huge impression on me. Not only did he dominate the field, he did it as though God was on his side. After two days of climbing in dark cloudy conditions, the sun decided to make an appearance only after "The Dreammaker" (a name that seemed to be made up by CBS) latched the jug at the very lip of a huge roof, which not only lit up his face and highlighted his flowing blond locks, but sealed his victory and electrified the crowd. It was the stuff of legend, but only another day in the life of Le Blond. May he rest in peace.

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