Timmy O'Neill

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Timmy O'Neill (born 1969) is an American professional rock climber, guide, and comedian.[1] He is nicknamed the "Urban Ape".[2]

O'Neill is originally from East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, one of seven children.[3] After whitewater kayaking as a child,[3] he began climbing as a teenager, scaling the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge and climbing in Yellowstone.[1][2] He left Temple University after one semester and worked at the Old Faithful Gift Shop in Yellowstone, and in Yosemite.[3] He has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2000.[4] He climbs buildings, including the Chicago Tribune Tower, without ropes.[2] In 2001, along with Dean Potter, O'Neill set the-then speed record for the "Nose" climb on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, climbing it in three hours and twenty-four minutes.[1]

O'Neill has been featured in several climbing films including Return2Sender, Front Range Freaks, and most recently 180 Degrees South.[5] He also produced "Return2Sender", which won Best Climbing Film from the Alpine Club of Canada.[6] He narrated and co-wrote the non-fiction comedy "Across the Atlas", about an adventure in Morocco that turned out to be less epic than the participants hoped.[4] One of his comedy personas is "Dr Steven "Death Zone" Clark",[7] in his "Mallory Revisited" play.[3]

With Dennis “DJ” Skelton he co-founded a non-profit organization for disabled outdoor sport athletes, Paradox Sports, in 2007.[1][3] His brother Sean broke his back jumping off a bridge into the Mississippi River and is still a climber.[4] Paradox Sports is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that improves people's lives by creating an adaptive sport community built to inspire. Currently, O'Neill is the executive director of Paradox Sports


  1. ^ a b c d Abbey Smith. Timmy O'Neill Archived 2011-05-26 at the Wayback Machine.. Climbing Magazine.
  2. ^ a b c Fahim, Kareem (7 June 2008). "The People Who Aspire to Great Heights, Literally, Hand Over Hand". New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Oksenhorn, Stewart (7 May 2009). "Boulder's Timmy O'Neill: Laughing all the way to the summit". The Aspen Times. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Zak (25 May 2007). "The Climbing Comedian: O'Neill one of Boulder's biggest characters". Daily Camera. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Knight, Wendy (6 January 2006). "Adventure Film Festivals: Would-You-Dare Movies". New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Soutar, Gaby (24 February 2007). "High point of the year". Scotsman. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Official website