A Legend Needing a Hand: Layton Kor

Layton-Kor_FA-Monster-Tower The name associated with the climb was often more terrifying than the rating, or even the climb itself.

To me, gazing up at a route first climbed by the legendary Layton Kor was to know inherently that the route would bring stout climbing, perhaps scant protection, and would include reaches that only Layton – and perhaps a pterodactyl – could hope to make gracefully, if at all.

But, without fail, the Kor routes I have climbed have been some of the best ever…perhaps due in large part because I knew I was climbing in the footsteps – and handholds – of a legend.

From The Diamond of Long's Peak in Coloradoto Castleton Tower and the imposing Titan in Utah to a winter ascent of the Eiger's North Face, Kor climbed harder and climbed more in a decade than most will do in a lifetime.

Sadly, however, Layton – now 70 – needs help. Suffering from kidney disease, Layton is in need of a transplant…but is having trouble paying his bills for dialysis and everything else. Fortunately, other legendary climbers – namely Stewart Green and Steph Davis – have stepped up to the plate and started the Layton Kor Fund to raise money for his treatment and transplant.

If you don't know much about Layton, read Stewart's article, or a new one by Alison Osius in Rock & Ice Magazine, or the countless other musings about the man on The Mountain Project, SuperTopo, and elsewhere on the web. What you'll find is that, his climbing aside, Layton was – and is – a great person, and one who gave a great deal through his grit and enthusiasm to the sport of climbing.

Pat Ament recalled in an interview with Climbing Magazine a letter he once received from Layton describing a frenzy of climbs in Yosemite. At the end, Layton offered some advice, saying:

Be sure to use lots of protective pitons. Climbers lead a hard and lonely life, and it only takes one fall to end everything.

Layton has lived the climbers life…Let's not let him fall now.

Visit the Layton Kor Fund now and do what you can to help him out.

Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.

Leave a Reply