Doug Robinson is one of the Yosemite climbing greats, up there with Tom Frost and Yvon Chouinard. He’s witnessed and been part of the growth and innovation of climbing over the last 60-plus years, and he recently shared some stories.
In this interview, Robinson talks about climbing history, techniques and practices of the first half of the 20th century. Pitons, hemp ropes, hip belays, bowlines and “leader must not fall.”
Robinson was the first president of the American Mountain Guides Association, and was also a pioneer of Sierra ski touring, having made numerous traverses, including a 1970 traverse of the John Muir Trail. He was instrumental in introducing modern ice climbing to the Sierras and pushed for clean climbing ethics.