I love rock climbing. Gym climbing and real rock are two entirely different experiences. Dan, Jan, and Jill took me under their wings and gave me good lessons. I met Lou Whittaker when he was in his early to mid-seventies and I have an autographed copy of his book. Lou Whittaker is the twin brother of the first American to ever summit Mount Everest (1963), Jim Whittaker. In his 70s Lou Whittaker had a firm handshake and stronger voice than some people I know in their early 30s.
He was more alive than some people will ever be. He died on Mount Rainer and that is how he would have wanted it. (I thought I read that he died on Rainer a couple of years ago but I can find no obituary or any information to substantiate that therefore I am going to assume he is still alive.)
Louâ€™s philosophy is simple: "When it comes to dying," he says, "I want to know what it is like to have really lived." [Source]
Dean Potter has a video out demonstrating a solo, freeclimb The Nose of El Capitan at 3000 feet. I think Lou Whittaker would disagree with this type of climbing.
"…Remember, there are old climbers and bold climbers, but no old, bold climbers…" [Source]
Dan Osman (seen in the video below) was a speed climber and controlled freefaller who died November 23, 1998 when a last minute change to plans caused undue stress on his rigging which broke and sent him plummetting to the ground below. Read more here.
There is also an 11 minute video tribute to Dan Osman [Update: Video removed due to copyright claim by Eric Perlman Productions. You’d think YouTube or "we don’t understand marketing" productions would at least provide a link to where the video could be viewed or purchased.]. Speed climbing and Parkour share a lot of similarities. I can certainly relate to the thrill!