5 Best Outdoor Climbers
The 5 best outdoor climbers share a mix of boldness and technical expertise. While all experienced successes, some lost their lives while pushing the boundaries of their sport.
- Reinhold Messner. Largely considered the greatest climber in the history of the sport, Messner has ascended all 14 peaks that are at least 8,000 meters above sea level. He is perhaps best known for being the first solo mountaineer to ascend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.
- Edmund Viesturs. Edmund Viesturs is considered one of the greatest high-altitude mountaineers. He deserves a spot on the list of 5 best outdoor climbers for being the only American to ascend all 14 peaks that are at least 8,000 meters above sea level. Moreover, he has climbed Mount Everest 7 times, received the David A. Sowles Memorial Award from the American Alpine Club, and even served as cinematographer for "Trio for One," a documentary about alpinist Jean-Christophe Lafaille.
- Joe Simpson. Part of being a great climber involves being able to overcome great obstacles. Perhaps no one on the list of 5 best outdoor climbers has overcome obstacles as great as those overcome by Joe Simpson. His remarkable story of survival while climbing the Siula Grande is detailed in the book and movie "Touching the Void." During the climb, Simpson survived a broken leg, a 100 foot fall, and three days without food or water.
- Chris Sharma. Perhaps the best known climber to make the list of 5 best outdoor climbers, Sharma began his competitive climbing career by winning the Bouldering Nationals at age 14. Sharma has won a host of awards since, including the 2001 Munich Bouldering World Cup, the 2007 Mammut Bouldering Championship, and the 2010 Earth Treks Roc Comp.
- Tommy Caldwell. Caldwell is perhaps the most versatile climber to make the list of 5 best outdoor climbers. He has had great success in sport climbing, hard traditional climbing, big-wall speed climbing, and big-wall free climbing. Notable ascents include the 2001 ascent of The Honeymoon is Over and the 2008 ascent of Magic Mushroom.
Posted on: Dec. 15, 2010