Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kor in Rifle

Mike Pont recently told me a fun story about the early climbing days in Rifle, Colorado, where he was part of a small crew that bolted many of the classic sport routes in the limestone canyon, back in the early 1990s. Decades earlier, Layton Kor had aid-climbed a couple of routes in the canyon—just a few of the hundreds of new routes he established throughout the American West in the 1950s and ’60s. One day, Kor was fishing for trout in Rifle Creek as Mike and Kurt Smith bolted routes in what would become the Wasteland cave. Kor strolled over to watch the two climbers blasting in bolts with a power drill. "Man," he said, "if I'd had one of those things, you guys would have nothing left!"

Kor, now 70, lives in Arizona and is suffering from kidney disease. Climbers Stewart Green and Steph Davis have organized an online effort to raise money for his deductibles and copays. The Layton Kor Climbing website is packed with great Kor photos and fun prizes for donors. Kudos for this cool effort to help out one of America's greatest rock climbers.

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