Warren Harding, conqueror of El Capitan, dies

by Mick Ryan, Charles Arthur Mar/2002
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Warren Harding on the first ascent of the Nose, 46 kbWarren Harding on the first ascent of the Nose
Warren Harding, who observed as he pulled himself over the top of El Capitan that "it looked in better shape than me", began his final climb - the one you do alone - peacefully in his home on Feb 28th.
We've lost a great climber and a great man.
Harding was the leader of the team that attacked El Capitan; it took 18 months. To quote the obit at Terraquest, "As opposed to Robbins' highly methodical approach to climbing, "Batso" Harding, as he is known in the climbing world, had a more organic approach. On a Harding climb, difficulties were dealt with as they arose and never without the aid of a good deal of wine, guts and humour. Undoubtedly one of the most colourful characters to ever scale El Cap's unforgiving heights."
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