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Mar 29, 2023

When Doug Robinson speaks of a life spent climbing in the Sierra Range, his stories emanate joy rather than ego. He points to experiences and relationships, instead of his many contributions to climbing’s legacy and lore.

Robinson worked alongside Yvon Chouinard before Patagonia existed, forging some of the first pitons at Chouinard Equipment, and forming lifelong friendships. 

Robinson considers climbing a form of active meditation, and is most at home on rock. He was one of the leaders of the clean climbing revolution that took hold in the 1970s, and five decades later he remains a fierce advocate for wild places like his beloved Palisades, which he calls “the alpine heart of the Sierra.” 

He’s an accomplished and award-winning writer, and has published influential works on clean climbing, mentorship, and his home range. His Mountain Profile on the Palisades was published in Alpinist 48.

In this conversation, Robinson reflects on the importance of mentorship during a time of explosive growth in climbing, and the pure joy he experiences on even the mellowest of climbs. 

This episode is brought to you by Rab Equipment

Alpinist Magazine: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: Doug Robinson

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn

Photo by Jim Herrington