Charlie Porter has died in Punta Arenas, Chile after heart problems.
Already famous for hard first ascents in Yosemite, in 1975 he soloed a first ascent on Mt Asgard on Baffin Island and in 1976 made the first solo ascent of the Cassin Ridge on Denali, in 36hrs.
Charlie had spent the last decades based out of the deep south of Chile, running various yachts for scientists and climbers. He avoided the spotlight, but continued his adventures, including supporting the Venables/Rosekelly climb on Mt Sarmiento in 1995.
Three years younger than myself even. Charlie was one of our few incontestable geniuses. What a card, what a torchbearer. In a handful of days over a few years, on a few Yosemite first ascents and then his Asgard and Patagonia exploits, this man transformed the future of rock climbing.
Sad news: he was a man who redefined what was possible. The Cassin solo was at least a decade ahead of its time, and he didn't exactly take it easy after that. He was up to all sorts of excitement in Chile, I gather - including the round the Horn in a kayak.
Sad to hear this.
He was one of those few legendary greats like chuck pratt who inspired equally by their mind blowing climbs and by a seeming lack of need for recognition. A true romantic .
Great sense of humour too judging by the mag article on supertopo.Obvously a real tough cookie.I heard some story that when he was soloing the first ascent of zodiac during a public holiday his mum came along the bottom and started shouting up at him to "come down you dang fool"she musn't have got climbing
Reminds me of John Gill's story of an old lady who shouted, 'Come down from there this instant, young man' while he was engaged in a highball boulder problem. He replied, 'If I do, it will not be voluntarily'.