To say we are excited to have Doug Robinson present is truly an understatement! An iconic figure in the climbing scene for decades, it will be an honor to have Doug presenting and instructing at the years event.
Doug Robinson was dirtbagging his way through the Golden Age of Yosemite climbing in the Sixties, when one fall evening over a kerosene lantern at Chuck Pratt’s camp he met Yvon Chouinard. Two weeks later, Chouinard showed up on the edge of the Palisade Glacier to give him, hot off his Ventura forge, a new curved-pick ice axe, ice hammer and rigid-frame crampons. The next day they made the first ascent, under full blue-ice conditions, of the V-Notch. It’s hard to realize now how revolutionary that new gear was, ending a hundred years of step cutting. The THUNK! of that curved axe into hard ice was heard ‘round the world.
The next winter they teamed up again to do the first routes on waterfall ice in Lee Vining Canyon, which is still California’s most popular roadside ice. Doug then helped write Chouinard’s classic Climbing Ice. In 1976 Doug and Dale Bard made the first ascent of Ice Nine, which to this day is the hardest alpine ice route in the High Sierra. Doug’s article about their climb was featured in the third issue of Outside magazine. In 1979 he joined Jeff Lowe and David Breashears on Tom Frost’s expedition to make the second ascent of Ama Dablam (22,495), which they filmed for ABC Sports. Shortly after returning home, Doug became the first president of the American Mountain Guides Association. Then he went skiing.
Doug is also known for sparking the clean climbing revolution–his first hammerless ascent of Half Dome with Galen Rowell and Dennis Hennek was featured in National Geographic–many ski-mountaineering firsts, and for writing that vividly evokes our love of climbing. His articles have ranged from Rock & Ice to Alpinist to Powder. Doug is bringing his new book, The Alchemy of Action, which delves into the high we get from this vertical passion, to share at the Michigan Ice Fest!
Doug Robinson, 68, is a professional mountaineer known internationally for his climbing, guiding and backcountry skiing, as well as his poetic writings about the mountains and why we climb them. Closely identified with California’s High Sierra, Doug has been called “the modern John Muir.”