Ontario hard rock pioneer Dave Lanman died in his home in New Paltz on Jan. 28, 2018, at age 55. He passed away while sleeping from a cardiac arrest.

Dave was a leading figure in the Ontario hard rock climbing scene and one of the first 5.11 and then 5.12 climbers in the province.

Starting in Ontario in the late seventies, accompanied by his brother Steve (who passed away in 2014 from a cardiac arrest while sleeping), his friends Steve Labelle, Mike Tschipper, Geroge Manson, Rob Rohn and Dean Lister, he set out on a course of first ascents of hard routes that set a new standard of difficulty and commitment.

He climbed The Shield on El Capitan when he was just 16 years-old, but his main passion was hard free climbs.

To this end he was instrumental in the development of numerous Niagara Escarpment crags and influenced the new generation of hard local climbers, including Dave and Reg Smart, Marc Bracken, Chris Oates and many others by showing that with a little talent and a lot of hard work, regular suburban kids could climb hard.

In the 1980s, Dave moved to New Paltz to devote himself to climbing in the Gunks. Although by the time he died, he was no longer climbing, he kept in touch with many of his oldest climbing friends and he will be sorely missed.

Dave Lanman Photo Reg Smart