Thursday, January 19, 2006

Brush with Greatness

Larry Dalke just fixed my window blinds. Dalke, as any longtime Colorado climber knows, was one of the great pioneers of free climbing in the state. A regular partner of Layton Kor and Pat Ament during the 1960s, he made such breakthrough Eldorado Canyon leads as the overhanging final crack on the Naked Edge, the direct finish to the Yellow Spur, and the dangerous X-M, all classic "Larry Dalke 5.9s"—now considered solid 5.10. As I said, he was here to fix my window coverings (his business). After a time, I asked him if he was still climbing. "No, not so much, I don't have enough time," was all he said. It was pretty clear he didn't want to chat about climbing. I'll say this, though: He may have white hair, but he's darned nimble on a ladder.

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