John Middendorf

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John Middendorf
John Middendorf, 2006
Born 1959
New York City
Occupation Climbing
Known for Big wall climbing and founding A5 Adventures, a big-wall-equipment manufacturing company.

John Middendorf (born 1959 in New York City) is a big wall climber and inventor of climbing equipment.

In the 1980s, he climbed the hardest walls of Yosemite (including El Capitan and Half Dome), and in 1992 he climbed the largest rock wall in the world, Great Trango Tower

Great Trango new route[edit]

He achieved worldwide recognition in the climbing world in 1992 when he climbed the East Face of Great Trango Tower (6286 m a.s.l.) in Karakoram, Pakistan, with Xaver Bongard. As a lightweight, two man team, they were the first to climb the largest rock face involving big wall climbing of Great Trango Tower to its summit and make it down alive.[1] (The East Face of Great Trango was climbed in 1984 via neighbor route, Norwegian Pillar, by the team of the finest Norwegian climbers, but the summiters died on the descent;[2] the next two ascents of this route did not continue to the true top of the wall, the East Summit of Great Trango Tower.[3])

The Grand Voyage, which climbs a 1350 metre vertical and overhanging wall and continues to the East Summit of Great Trango Tower at 6231 metres,[4] along with the slightly longer Norwegian Pillar on the same face, have been noted as "perhaps the hardest big-wall climbs in the world" (see Trango Towers). The 1992 new route required 15 days and nights to climb and three days to descend, using portaledges designed and constructed by Middendorf in his outdoor equipment company (A5 Adventures, Inc.)


  1. ^ "On the Big Stones". Mountain Zone. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Norwegians Repeat Historic Trango Route". Climbing Magazine. Skram Media. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  3. ^ John Middendorf, Great Trango Tower, East Face, ..., American Alpine Journal (AAJ), 1993, pp. 263, lines 7-11 (available as a pdf file, see External links)
  4. ^, Grand Voyage, with topo (Retrieved 14 April 2010)

External links[edit]