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Royal Robbins and his wife Liz were iconic Sierra Nevada rock climbers during the 1960s. They belonged to a scrappy band of modern climber/philosophers who coined and embraced the term “clean climbing”: a set of practices and techniques that enabled them to climb big walls with little or no damage to the rock, a literal representation of their lived ethos of deep respect for the natural world.
Royal was simply one of the best climbers in the world when he and his friends forged this new outdoor ethic in the late 1960s, giving birth to a technical foundation that is still in use in the American climbing community today. Royal went on to climb and kayak throughout the Americas, Europe and the world, always coming home to Modesto, CA, the gateway to Yosemite Valley, where Liz still lives today.