Ron Edwards

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In 1995 in the middle of the largest National Park in the United States, Wrangell St. Elias, a former Everest climber, now guide in the small town of McCarthy, Alaska, takes me onto a glacier to introduce me to ice climbing. This is my first time wearing crampons, carrying an ice ax, and tramping onto an entirely new kind of path in the great mountains of the world. Throughout that entire day, my eyes, ears, and mind open wider and I take on a whole new perspective as to what is possible. My many years before in travels to great National Parks and toproping at a local crag were great explorations, but this probably marked the beginning of the personal upswing and trend to higher adventure.

In 1996 and 1997 I was able to find a spark in a couple of local peers to help me explore lead and multi-pitch rock and ice climbing. Though the climbing was less frequent than I wished, this period culminated on a successful summit of Mt. Rainier in the spring of 1998 – providing another inspirational leap. The fire smoldered from 1999 through 2000 as early independent life and career trumped all outdoor activity. Once transplanted into the city of Pittsburgh, and surrounded by groups of enthusiasts, I began with a renewed dedication in 2001. It's been full steam ahead and no looking back since then.

Intentions and Objectives

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The vertical world is what thrills me; the steeper, the better. Fortunately this planet of ours is full of vertical adventure – or unfortunately since there is too much for a human lifetime. Now entering mid-life, my sense of passing time nags daily and my sights are set on too many objectives to form a cohesive plan. My engine is constantly at a high throttle, and each new goal obtained leads to double as many more. I grab everything I can get. I’m growing more confident of my abilities to accomplish what are commonly considered aggressive or lofty goals. This is due to both personal accomplishments and a strong set of peers I now have.

When climbing I enjoy more traditional methods and techniques yet employ all of the most modern gear that is available. I enjoy a strong sense of ethics on all of my climbs, striving to do climbs with style knowing I can never lie to myself. Single pitch, toproping and sport climbing are enjoyable but just training grounds to me. I feel the drive to accomplish great climbs, ones that only one in a hundred climbers will do. My religion is simple – life itself. It’s a race against time, a limited time to accomplish and stave off regret. A probable side effect is the legacy that may be left – one that hopefully inspires the next generation. Or at least results in some pretty damn amazing pictures.

Mountains

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  • Matterhorn, Switzerland/Italy (14,692') via Cresta del Leone/Liongrat/SW Ridge (AD+ III+) - 2017
  • Rochefort Ridge/Aguille de Rochefort/Dome de Rochefort (AD II) - 2017
  • Ama Dablam, Nepal (22,467') - 2016
  • Imja Tse/Island Peak, Nepal (20,285') - 2016
  • Eiger, Switzerland (13,204’) via Mittellegi Route - 2015
  • Jungfrau, Switzerland (13,641’) via Southeast Ridge (PD+) - 2015
  • Monch, Switzerland (13,474’) via Southeast Ridge (PD) - 2015
  • Pidgeon Spire, BC (10,354') via West Ridge (Grade IV PD 5.4) - 2013
  • Mt. McKinley (Denali), AK (20,320’) via Southwest Buttress (Grade 2) {no summit, high point 18,000} - 2012
  • Mount Democrat, CO (14,155’) via East Face (Class 2) - 2011
  • Longs Peak, CO (14,259’) via The Diamond, Casual Route (IV 5.10a) - 2009
  • Mount Elbert , CO (14,440’) via Southwest Ridge (III 1) - 2009
  • Grand Teton, WY (13,770') via Owen-Spalding (III 5.4, solo) - 2009
  • Fremont Peak, WY (13,745’) via Southwest Buttress (I 3) - 2009
  • Gannet Peak, WY (13,804’) via North Face (III 5) - 2009
  • Mount Helen, WY (13,620’) via Grand Coulior (II 4) - 2009
  • Artesonraju, Peru (19,767’) via Southeast Face (D+) - 2007
  • Tocllaraju, Peru (19,790’) via Northwest Ridge (D) - 2007
  • Ishinca, Peru (18,143’) via Northwest Slopes to Southwest Ridge (F/PD-) - 2007
  • Urus Este, Peru (17,782’) via Southeast Slopes to East Ridge (PD) - 2007
  • Mt. Sir Douglas, AB (11,174’) via Northwest Face (Grade III) - 2007
  • Mt. Athabasca, AB (11,454’) via North Face (Grade III, WI3, 5.8) - 2007
  • Mt. Andromeda, AB (11,319’) via Skyladder (Grade II, WI2) - 2007
  • Mt. Hector, AB (11,135’) via North Glacier (Grade I) - 2007
  • Mt. Marcy, NY (Winter) - 2007
  • White Mountains, NH via Presidential Traverse (Winter) - 2007
  • Mt. Hood, OR (11,239’) via Sandy Glacier Headwall (Grade III) - 2006
  • Mt. Adams, WA (12,276’) via Adams Glacier (Grade III) - 2006
  • Mt. Shuksan, WA (9,131’) via North Face (Grade III-IV) - 2006
  • Mt. Whitney, CA (14,497’) via Whitney Trail (Class 1) - 2005
  • Mt. Elbrus, Russia (18,510’) via South Face to South Summit - 2005
  • Mt. Baker, WA (10,781’) via North Ridge (Grade III+, WI2+) - 2004
  • Ingalls Peak, North Peak, WA (7,662’) via South Ridge (Grade II, 5.4) {no summit} - 2004
  • Katahdin, ME (5,268’) via various routes (up to Grade II+, WI4) - 2004
  • Mt. Washington, NH (6,288’) via various routes (up to WI3) - 2003
  • Mt. Rainier, WA (14,410’) via Emmons-Winthrop Glacier (Grade III) - 1998

Ice

  • Adirondacks, NY 2002-present (WI2-WI5)
  • Cody, WY 2013 (WI3-WI5)
  • Quebec 2006 (WI2-WI5)
  • Orient Bay and Thunder Bay, Ontario 2005, 2018 (WI3-WI5)
  • Catskills, NY 2005, 2009, many more (WI3-WI5)
  • Katahdin, ME 2004 (WI2-WI4)
  • Ouray, CO 2003-4 (WI2-WI5)
  • White Mountains, NH 2003, 2009, 2010 (WI3)

Rock

I’ve climbed over 1,000 rock routes in a variety of locations around the United States:

  • Zion National Park, UT
  • Joshua Tree, CA
  • Red Rocks, NV
  • Devil’s Tower, WY
  • Mt. Rushmore / Needles, SD
  • Cathedral & Whitehorse Ledges, NH
  • Rumney, NH
  • Canon Mtn, NH
  • Looking Glass, NC
  • Linville Gorge, NC
  • Stone Mountain, NC
  • Shawangunks, NY
  • Seneca Rocks, WV
  • New River Gorge, WV
  • Red River Gorge, KY
  • Yosemite, CA
  • Alabama Hills, CA
  • Eldorado Canyon, CO
  • Grand Tetnon NP, WY
  • Fremont Canyon, WY
  • Sinks Canyon, WY

Notable Routes

  • Spaceshot, IV, 5.7 C2 (UT) - 2018
  • Moonlight Buttress, V, 5.8 C1 (UT) - 2018
  • The Professor Falls, III, WI4 (AB) - 2015
  • Mean Green IV, WI5 (WY) - 2013
  • High on Boulder III, WI5 (WY) - 2013
  • Longs Peak, CO (14,259’) via The Diamond, Casual Route (IV 5.10a) - 2009
  • Yellow Spur III, 5.9 - 2009 (Eldorado Canyon, CO)
  • Third Flatiron II, 5.3 - 2009 (Boulder, CO)
  • Irene’s Arete II, 5.8 – 2009 (Tetons, WY)
  • Whitney-Gilman II, 5.7 - 2009 (Cannon Mountain, NH)
  • Epinephrine IV, 5.9 – 2006 (Red Rocks, NV)
  • The Nose, El Capitan VI, 5.9 C2 - 2005 (Yosemite, CA) – pitches 1-19
  • Crimson Chrysalis III 5.8+ – 2005 (Red Rocks, NV)
  • Durrance Route II, 5.7 - 2004 (Devils Tower, WY)

Explorers Club of Pittsburgh

  • President 2015-present
  • Vice President 2013-14
  • Mountaineering School Chairman 2008-2011
  • Mountaineering School Director 2007-2008
  • Mountaineering School Committee Member and Instructor – 2003 to present
  • Rock Climbing School Director 2006-2007
  • Rock Climbing Committee Member and Instructor – 2004 to present
  • Rock Climbing Coordinator – 2004 to present
  • Backpacking School Instructor - 2011 to present