The Lifer: Paul Gagner


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On today’s episode of the firn line, we’ll get to know legendary rock climber and big wall ace, Paul Gagner. Growing up in southern California in the late 60’s and early 70’s - Paul had a keen sense for adventure. This was fueled by summertime camping trips with his family, and a string of visits to National Parks. In fact, it was a fateful trip to Grand Teton National Park in his teens, that would give Paul his first taste for climbing. His appetite for the vertical world whetted, Paul started making trips to Yosemite and climbed his first big wall in 1979.

Since that time, Paul has continued to be a force and consistent presence in the climbing world. A prolific all-arounder, Paul has made impressive ascents all around the globe, from the Haston-Scott on the south face of Denali, to the SE Ridge of Cerro Torre (both done in 1987), to a monumental ascent and survival situation on Baffin Island in 1995, and a more recent ascent of Sea Of Dreams on El Cap in 2015.

I recently had the chance to speak with Paul about his extraordinary career in the mountains. We talked about some of his highlight trips and memories, as well as some of the lasting and important partnerships he’s shared with others. All that and more, on this episode of The Firn Line.

Music by Evan Phillips

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