Outdoors blog

Roskelley receives Golden Ice Axe Award in France

CORRECTION: In 1962, John Harlin was the first American to climb the North Face of the Eiger, along with a German climber.  in 1974, Roskelley and Kopczynski were the first U.S. team to make the ascent.  That point was wrong in my initial post.

CLIMBING -- John Roskelley has climbed to very elite international status today as he accepted the Golden Ice Axe Award in presentations at Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy. The mountain towns are connected by a tunnel through the base of Mont Blanc.

Roskelley, 65, is the first American and sixth recipient of the Golden Ice Axe. He built his climbing reputation with first ascents in the Canadian Rockies before heading farther afield to achieve first ascents and notable ascents of 7,000 and 8,000 meter peaks in Nepal, India and Pakistan.

Attending the events, Chris Kopczynski of Spokane said Roskelley received a standing ovation and lots of press.  Kop and Roskelley launched celebrated climbing careers onto the international stage in their mid-20s when they became the first all American team to climb the North Face of the Eiger.

He’s also an author and former Spokane County commissioner. He was named to the Northwest Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He got his start as a climber as a teenager in the Spokane Mountaineers club




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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