Bill Ramsey is a legend. He had achieved near mythical status in the Red River Gorge by the time I started paying attention to sport climbing. Pioneering many of the best hard sport climbs that now draw flocks of people to Kentucky’s steep sandstone crags, Bill wasn’t the typical 24 year old developer with a part time job and nowhere specific to be. He was a Professor of Philosophy at The University of Notre Dame - an over 14 hour round trip to and from The Red - a drive that Bill made weekly. His routes Omaha Beach, Transworld Depravity, Golden Boy, and The Return of Darth Moll, among many other classics, came from this period. He’s done 26 5.14’s - 25 of those after turning 40. Bill recently checked one of his life list, Randy Leavitt’s stunning Jumbo Pumping Hate (14a) at Clark Mountain. He had just turned 59 and was a few days from hip surgery.
To say that Bill is dedicated is a massive understatement, and we haven’t even mentioned his training sessions. Without going too far into detail, Bill has found that marathon sessions work well for him, and he’s stuck to that with great results. Perhaps most intriguing, and most universally applicable, is his idea of The Pain Box, which we discuss in the episode.
As I get older it gets a little tougher to find the same inspiration in the 20 year old crushers that I once did, and there just aren’t that many 40+ year old climbers still chasing progression. Bill has always been someone I’ve looked up to as not only a great example of perseverance and dedication in his climbing, but in his life choices as well. Bill moved from a tenured position at Notre Dame to UNLV so that he could be closer to the year round climbing in Las Vegas. Not content with a schedule that he could fill with climbing and training, Bill gives back to the community as Vice President of the Southern Nevada Climber’s Coalition.
Every step of the way, a legend.
You can find Bill's full Pain Box essay at https://www.powercompanyclimbing.com/blog/2019/11/11/ep-150-a-philosophy-of-sending-with-bill-ramsey
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