North American Classic Climbs

People of NAC

Major Contributors

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A native of Corvallis, Oregon, Mark Anderson first learned to overcome runouts and loose rock on the steep faces and cracks of Smith Rock. While attending school in Northern California he became fascinated with pain and suffering on the smooth granite cracks of Yosemite. Since completing his first Valley epic as a college freshman, Mark has groveled his way up over 35 of Steck and Roper's "50 Classic Climbs..." and over 45 of the routes in this collection, bragging that over half of these ascents were completed in the dark, sans headlamp, long after the water ran out. He has failed twice to climb El Capitan in a day, but insists the third time's a charm. Mark currently lives in Albuquerque, from where he commutes weekly to Utah's desert sandstone. Although Mark shamefacedly denies it, witnesses claim to have seen him hanging quickdraws with a stick clip at various sport climbing crags in New Mexico, 'training' for his next big Alpine adventure.

Although Mike Anderson was introduced the sport in 1990 at the early age of 13, he didn't begin climbing seriously until around 1996, when he became "obsessed." That year he climbed the Royal Arches route in Yosemite with his twin brother Mark. Since then the pair have done over 30 of Steck and Roper's classic climbs and more than 40 of the routes in this collection. He is an "all-around" climber enjoying everything from extreme alpine to sport climbing where he has established many new routes. He still considers alpine climbing to be the "holy grail", preferring the solitude of a small team moving quickly among the high peaks. His photos and trip reports appear in the Devil's Thumb, Mt. Waddington, Denali Cassin Ridge, Mt. Edith Cavell, Elephant's Perch, Stairway to Heaven (UT), and Mt. Moran collections. Mike is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force currently (2002) stationed in Utah.

Although a native to New Mexico, George Bell now resides in Boulder, Colorado, where he works as a mathematician. George is author of the definitive climbing guide to the Cirque of the Unclimbables, and has his own climbing-related web site with some great photos. George is a committed classics bagger, and has written about the affliction in the climbing press. He contributed his photos to the Mt. Slesse, Polar Circus, El Cap Salathé, Mt. Assiniboine, the Lotus Flower Tower, and the Third Flatiron collections.

George Bell

Bruce Bindner

In the 1970s, Bruce Bindner (aka Brutus of Wyde) learned rock climbing in Joshua Tree and glacier skills on Mt. Rainier. This spectrum of interests has stayed with him ever since. An active backcountry first-ascentionist in his home range, the California High Sierra, he is a frequent contributor to the American Alpine Journal and several High Sierra guidebooks. He has provided information on climbs ranging from Alaska glacier slogs, technical ice climbs and alpine routes in the Canadian Rockies, to long backcountry routes and Yosemite walls. His contributions to this project include trip reports, route diagrams, and photos for: Mt. Alberta; Castle Mountain; Charlotte Dome; Crimson Chrysalis; Salathé' Wall; Polar Circus; Royal Arches; Sentinel Rock; and Mt. Slesse NE Buttress.

Although French, Guillaume Dargaud has enjoyed the climbing in the US so much that he spent a year in Alaska, several summers on the east coast and two years in Colorado. Guillaume says "Climbing is like love or photography, it's hard to live off of it," so he sells his software skills anywhere there's some climbing. He spends all his weekends on ice, rock and snow, an axe in one hand, a camera in the other. He is lucky enough to save money by combining wife, model and climbing partner. He is author of a website popular since 1996 that features his work in Antarctica in addition to his climbing adventures. Guillaume has contributed trip reports and photographs for 9 of the routes in this collection, from desert towers to big snow and ice routes in Alaska. He is a prolific climber and a creative and technically proficient photographer.

Kim Grandfield began climbing shortly after he arrived in California in the early 70s to begin a career as an engineer. His priorities changed quickly, and he soon gave up his engineering career to become involved in the sport full-time. With a partner he founded what is now Sunrise Mountain Sports, one of the best specialty shops in the country. Kim was a frequent climbing partner in the early 80s, figuring in many of our early adventures in California and Alaska. Kim's pictures appear in the Mt. Fairweather, Half Dome, El Cap Nose, Keeler Needle, and Washington Column collections. Kim lives in Livermore, California.

Kim Grandfield

Greg Opland

I met Greg Opland through the Usenet group rec.climbing. Greg has become a valuable contributer not only of trip reports and photos, but most notably route diagrams. Greg lives in Phoenix, where he's an aircraft displays software developer for Honeywell. He is the author of two guides to Arizona climbing (at right.) He has dabbled in most variations on the climbing game, including waterfall ice, mountains, sport, trad, backcountry, and big walls. He especially enjoys long granite routes, but loves climbing sandstone in Sedona as well. His favorite is Granite Mountain near Prescott, Arizona.

Superstitions Select Phoenix Rock

Larry Sverdrup is a scientist living in San Diego. He grew up in Montana, where he began by scrambling class 4 in the Rockies and gradually worked up to ever bigger mountain routes. He is now a committed classics bagger, drawing inspiration from Roper and Steck's "50 Classics Climbs of North America" before becoming a regular contributor to this project. He regularly leads an organized rock climbing outing to Mt. Woodson in San Diego for beginners. Larry's photos appear in the Titan, Forbidden Pk., Devil's Tower, Sentinel Rock, Salathé Wall, Clyde Minaret, Mt. Shuksan, and Lost Arrow collections.

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