More sad news to the world of mountaineering today, as Jake Norton has posted that mountaineering legend Bob Bates has passed at the age of 96.
Bates was truly one of the great, early American mountaineers, making early expeditions to Denali, Ojos del Salado in Chile, and of course two famous climbs on K2. It was during the 1953 K2 climb that Pete Schoening made his heroic self arrest that ended up saving the entire team, although Art Gilke eventually succumbed to other injuries. That daring self arrest became known in climbing circles simply as “The Belay”.
As Jake notes in his blog post, Bates wasn’t just a mountaineer however. He was also an author, professor and the first director of the Peace Corps in Nepal. Some of his books are amongst the seminal works on mountaineering in the 20th Century, including Five Miles High and K2: The Savage Mountain.
You can read his full obituary here.
So passes a true legend. Although it is a sad time for his friends and family, we must also remember that at the age of 96, this man could go to the great beyond, having lived a true life of adventure.
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