Goodbye to Thomas John Higgins, pioneer of free climbing
In the '60s and' 70s was a precursors23 March 2018
The legendary American climber Thomas John Higgins, one of the pioneers of free climbing in USA, died on March 21st after having marked with a long series of first ascents the '60s and' 70s.
Not well know like other great climbers, Tom was one of the precursors of the so-called “free climbing” and he is author for some important FA’s. Higgins took his first steps at Stoney Point, near Los Angeles and in 1963 he freed Blanketty Blank to Tahquita Rock, a 5.10c, something from the 6b+, and in 1968 a 5.11 (6c +) to Joshue Tree opened Left Ski Track. Always around those years, he moved to Yosemite where he made the first free Northeast Buttress at Middle Cathedral Rock. With Chris Jones, he climbed Serenity Crack and others including Punch Bowl, The Peanut, Owl Roof and The Void. On the Tuolumne Meadows he was the author of Lucky Streaks, Nerve Wrack Point, The Vision, Fairest of All, Curly Like Her, Thy Will Be Done and Piece de Resistance and in '76 with Chris Vandiver made the FA of Shake and Bake. He was also among the first "inventors" of the "crack machine", wooden structures with parallel axis to train crack climbing.
The news was given by Tamara Robbins, daughter of Royal, another climbing legend, who on Supertopo.com announced the disappearance.