Where In The World Is James Litz?

Where In The World Is James Litz?

James Litz is one of the more enigmatic and under the radar strong climbers out there, so it’s not uncommon for his ascents to go unreported for months at a time only to have a report come out that leaves you pretty impressed.  This is one of those times.

Litz has been spending time this Summer pulling down on the pocketed limestone of Ten Sleep Canyon in northern Wyoming with great results.
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  Here is his ticklist for the Summer of 2009 courtesy of the Ten Sleep Facebook page:

  • Goldmember (5.14a)
  • Porcelain (5.14a, FA)
  • Private Halfenheimer (5.14a, FA)
  • Galactic Emperor (5.14a, FA)
  • The Great Pile Of Pumpkin Puke (5.14a, FA)
  • F’ed In The A (5.14b, FA)
  • General Litzenheimer (5.14c/d, FA)
  • Master Of The Universe (5.14d, FA)

Writing about Litz’s efforts on the Petzl Blog, Alli Rainey describes what it’s been like to watch Litz climb:

Thing is, though I’ve only known James since the middle of the summer, I’ve already come to expect him to casually execute the absurdly difficult, in terms of the rock climbing world. He does this regularly with such a visible lack of effort that you can just tell it’s not even hard for him in any relative sense to the majority of us humans.
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In fact, it’s so common that it’s truly kind of shocking when he doesn’t perform, and almost bizarrely ho-hum when he does.
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Be sure to read the rest of the entry on Petzl’s blog for some other funny Litz anectodes including one about how he never feels pumped.

James Litz on F’ed In The A (5.14b)


Photo:  Ten Sleep Facebook Page

To get a better feel for the climbing at Ten Sleep, check out these videos put together by Cedar Wright:  one featuring Kevin Wilkinson climbing a 5.14 and one other that has a brief glimpse of Mr. Litz.

Posted In: News, Sport Climbing


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7 Responses to Where In The World Is James Litz?

  1. Tony August 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    We drove through ten slee on our misadventure this summer, and it looked fantatic, and had we seen a mechanic in the town we’d have stayed the night and climbed there.

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    • Narc August 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

      If you had stopped in ten sleep there probably would have been an earthquake and all the rock would have been swallowed back into the Earth.

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  2. hosebeats August 29, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    I saw James working on F’ed in the A. Alli nails the description exactly. It just looked like he was casually climbing something that was pretty easy for him. Then he would just fall off, “Whoa, that was tough.”
    Dude’s a beast and a nice guy.

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  3. Munky August 31, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    I was in school in Boone, NC where I first heard about James and his unbelievable strength. I would see him around the boulders every once in awhile (always not climbing) with an unassuming stare on his face and slightly hidden grin, as if he had just gotten away with the greatest heist ever. I knew the guy was in another league but not until one night at the local gym did I see how impressive this guy really is. Everyone was bouldering (the majority of us were above average climbers who had climbed V8/5.13, or harder) but we all knew that we did our lines and James did his, none of which the rest of us could even touch. Then the single most impressive thing I have ever seen happened, he hung off of door jam (open handed-not in the crimp position) one-handed and while hanging his entire body on those 4 fingers he turned his fingers into a crimp position and proceeded to lock it off down to nearly his belly. HOLY SHIT- are you kidding me? I was, and still am convinced that he is a mutant, not of this mammal tribe but of some other non classified species.

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  4. Kevlar September 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    later that night tragedy struck.

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  5. Mmcghee2513 June 2, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Ya know whats so funny is i knew james back in the day way back in the day. He was cranking at this small gym in Johnson City, TN. Even Back then james was a mutant. The first little competition that the gym had james walks over to the ” Door Frame” lol were this finger slot was puts his index finger in and u know what comes next drop lock one finger pull up perfect. I knew then that james was just ment for great things. I think all of us are super stoked that james has came along way!!  

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    • Narc June 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Nice, thanks for sharing!

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