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Larry Campbell

Laurence (Larry) Joseph Campbell, long time member of the Mountaineers, died from cancer on June 2, 2011.  He was born in West Virginia on February 26, 1937.

A Snippet of Climbing History: Larry, along with other early Los Alamos Mountaineers including Don Liska , George Bell, Bill Hendry, Len Margolin and Eiichi Fukushima were very active in the area putting up climbs in the Brazos and other areas:

  • Eiichi Fukushima recalls that he and Larry climbed Battleship Rock (near Jemez Springs) right on the prow and found it to be an "easy" rock climb.
  • In the summer of 1969, Eiichi and Larry did a first ascent of the steep south face of Little Annapurna Peak in the Eastern Cascades. This peak is located in the Enchantment Lakes region, near Mt. Stuart. The climb is now described in Fred Beckey's guidebook for that region.
  • Along with Don Liska and others, Larry was one of the "extreme Shiprock enthusiasts" in the days before the accident that officially closed it to climbing.
  • Larry and Don Liska put up Cat Burglar in 1971, one of the best climbs in the Brazos.
  • Also in 1971 Larry along with Don Liska and Eiichi Fukushima were part of an expedition to east Greenland, on whose glaciers they like to say they pioneered a number of "first descents".

Larry was elected to the American Alpine Club in 1972. During the 70's he worked with others to improve the coordination of government and volunteer search and rescue activity in New Mexico.
Education and Career: After receiving Bachelor and Masters degrees in physics from MIT he obtained a Ph.D. in physics from U.C. San Diego, then joined the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) in 1967. While at the laboratory he worked as a theoretical physicist on projects in cryogenics and condensed matter including quantum fluids, superconductivity and some speculative areas such as anti-proton containment. He was appointed the first program manager for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Los Alamos, and was a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Larry retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 2001 after 35 years of service.
Other Interests: Besides mountaineering, Larry also had a passion for photography. This led to his participation in the Forum on Science and Art of Santa Fe for several years, and he contributed to juried shows. He was interested in the possibilities of black-and-white photography. He experimented with innumerable cameras, lenses, filters, and printing techniques. His subjects were often Los Alamos and New Mexico scenes, from distant views to close-ups, but there are many other things in his portfolio, including photographs of petroglyphs and pictographs and a series of abstract water patterns from a "water table" that occupied his studio for over a year. In the last decade of his life, Larry started to work with digital photography, but that never replaced his love of the subtle possibilities and painstaking requirements of analog work.
Larry also served as president of both the L.A. Historical Society and the L.A. Rotary Club, and was on the board of the New Mexico Historical Society.
Family: Larry is survived by his wife Katherine Campbell of Los Alamos; daughter Elizabeth Campbell of Boulder, Colorado; and sister Connie Lunsford (Gordon) of Lillian, Alabama.
Larry is mentioned repeatedly in LAM's History!

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