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
© Alan Steck
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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