Revised List of Nominees

Okay, we’re only days away now from naming the five greatest climbers of all time. For the last time, I revised the list of climbers up for consideration. I won’t post another group of revisions.

(As a total aside, this process has started to remind me of my day job when I am seeking stakeholder input and collecting public comments. Not that this is a bad thing in any way, because it isn’t. Actually, it has actually been a real pleasure.)

First, this final list of nominees removed the pure rock climbers from the list, like Tommy Caldwell and sport climber Chris Sharma. They simply don’t meet the mountaineering rubric, especially as we established that mountaineering is a higher standard of climbing.

Second, I’ve added on several climbers that you felt were left off. I have considered each one to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Third, I need you to correct me if the list is missing anyone that could be in the top five. If so, do so quickly. However, I believe that the five or so greatest climbers of all time are somewhere on this list below. I say “five or so” because while I will name five, I think that we could have one come in as atie or be given a single ranked spot as a dynamic duo, Batman.

  1. Amedeo, Luigi
  2. Anker, Conrad
  3. Beckey, Fred
  4. Bielecki, Adam
  5. Bonatti, Walter
  6. Bonington, Chris
  7. Boardman, Peter
  8. Boukreev, Anatoli
  9. Brown, Joe
  10. Buhl, Hermann
  11. Cassin, Riccardo
  12. Child, Greg
  13. Desio, Ardito
  14. Diemberger, Kurt
  15. Gervasutti, Giusto
  16. Hargreaves, Alison
  17. Haston, Dougal
  18. House, Steve
  19. Humar, Tomaz
  20. Kaltenbrunner, Gerlinde
  21. Katsutaka Yokoyama
  22. Kukuczka, Jerzy
  23. Kurtyka, Voytek
  24. Loretan, Erhard
  25. Lowe, Alex
  26. Messner, Reinhold
  27. Mummery, Alfred
  28. Munday, Phyllis
  29. Paradis, Marie
  30. Park Young-Seok
  31. Pasaban, Edurne
  32. Peck, Annie Smith
  33. Prezelj, Marko
  34. Rabuffat, Gaston
  35. Rutkiewicz, Wanda
  36. Naoe Sakashita
  37. Sabir, Nazir
  38. Scott, Doug
  39. Shipton, Eric
  40. Steck, Ueli
  41. Tasker, Joe
  42. Terray, Lionel
  43. Tilman, Bill
  44. Twight, Mark
  45. Urubko, Denis
  46. Vidal, Silvia
  47. Viesturs, Ed
  48. Whillans, Don
  49. Whymper, Edward
  50. Wielicki, Krystof
  51. Wiessner, Fritz
  52. Workman, Fanny Bullock
  53. Yan Dongdong

I’m posting the five greatest of all time on Monday. I have my picks, but please tell me, who would you pick?

1. _____________________
2. _____________________
3. _____________________
4. _____________________
5. _____________________

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5 thoughts on “Revised List of Nominees

  1. Very hard, but:

    Walter Bonatti
    Herman Buhl
    Reinhold Messner
    Ricardo Cassin
    Jerzy Kukuczka


    Denis Urubko
    Ueli Steck

    make the ‘modern’ day list. But perhaps their achievements even more important, even with the historical context?


  2. It is hard. Handicapping them across time is the toughest thing. I’m working on scoring everyone on the list now based on a rubric I posted earlier. It’s interesting how the contemporary climbers are scoring slightly higher, probably because of increased difficulty and those that lead the way. I might have to reassess a bit.

  3. I like your list, Robert, and we’re very much in synch over these names. One major change would be that Buhl doesn’t make the cut on mine; I’ve got Kurtyka there and some other order in the 1 to 5.

  4. It’s a bit late to answer, but I would say:
    5 – Alfred Mummery, for the deep impact he left on mountaineering; or Denis Urubko, in my opinion the best modern climber
    4 – Walter Bonatti
    3 – Herman Buhl
    2 – Reinhold Messner
    1- Jerzy Kukuczka
    Also, even if I am an italian and I consider greatly Luigi Amedeo Duca degli Abruzzi and Ardito Desio, I don’t think they can match the list you made above: they were more great organizers and explorers than great alpinists.
    Also I think you forgot one of the best modern climbers, the russian Valery Babanov.

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