Roland Pauligk, Creator of RPs, dies aged 79

© Dark Sky Media

German-Australian climbing legend Roland Pauligk - the man who gave his initials to RPs, the popular small brass wires - has died aged 79 following a battle with cancer.

RPs: tiny brass wires which revolutionised trad climbing  © Dark Sky Media
RPs: tiny brass wires which revolutionised trad climbing
© Dark Sky Media

A revolution in passive protection, RP wires have played a major role in many of the hardest traditional ascents around the world, as well being cherished trump cards in tricky situations for the keen trad climber.

Born in East Germany in 1938, Roland fled his homeland in 1960 - shortly before the Berlin Wall was built - and settled in Australia, where he became one of the top climbers of his generation and gradually improved upon his RP prototypes. He was reportedly still producing small numbers of RPs in his early seventies.

The Australian magazine Vertical Life have re-shared an fascinating interview with Roland, which reveals all about his eventful life of climbing, cockatoos, creating RPs and dealing with the Russians after World War II.


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26 Jan, 2017
Excellent interview, thanks.
26 Jan, 2017
Sad news. His innovation has supported many an adventure.
26 Jan, 2017
the photo of him climbing with the Cocatoo on his shoulder...not something you see everyday! His nuts were essential on the early slate routes in North Wales, and my set dates from this time. Still useful on Limestone today.
28 Jan, 2017
RiP Roland! I must have bought some of the last ones he produced back in 2009 when I climbed at Arapiles. They are some of my most treasured bits of kit, though I no longer have the complete set. As per the interview, I have fond memories of getting the green size 3 in when feeling a little stressed!
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