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Published on Jan 28, 2010
Dean Potter (born 18 January 1972, in the United States) is an American free climber, alpinist, BASE jumper, BASEliner, and highliner. He is noted for hard first ascents, free solo ascents, speed ascents and enchainments in Yosemite and Patagonia.
Free climbing and free soloing: Potter has made several new routes and bold solo ascents in Patagonia.
Speed climbing: In July 2006, he climbed The Reticent Wall, one of the hardest routes on El Capitan, in 34 hours and 57 minutes with Ammon McNeely and Ivo Ninov, shaving five days off the existing time.
Highlining and BASE jumping: Potter is known for his exploits in highlining and BASE jumping. He was introduced to slacklining by Chongo, aka Charles Victor Tucker III, one of the first three people to highline across Lost Arrow Spire.
Delicate Arch climb: Potter is infamous for climbing Delicate Arch, for which he lost his sponsorship from the Patagonia clothing company. "There wasn't any legal reason for me not to climb it," Potter said of Delicate Arch. "I didn't see any moral reason not to climb it. I didn't hurt it." Potter said he would not climb Totem Pole, the spire in Monument Valley that Navajo imbue with religious significance. Delicate Arch, despite its prominence on Utah license plates, doesn't have the stature of that sacred Arizona tower, he said. "I didn't see a reason why it's wrong, why we shouldn't mesh with nature," Potter said. "At first Potter's handler in Patagonia spread the word of his climb by calling a press release to the Salt Lake Tribune. Public outrage was immediate, though, especially in Utah, where many see Delicate Arch as a symbol for the state's wild beauty." Potter's Delicate Arch climb became the topic of the song Not All Roses by rapper Odub (Kris Hampton), released on the web on 2 April 2007. On 11 April 2007, Potter's lawyer sent Hampton a Cease and Desist letter advising him to halt all distribution of the song. Hampton subsequently released a follow-on song called Cease and Desist.
Notable Ascents: - 2002 Supercanaleta, Cerro Fitz Roy, Patagonia. First solo of route. - 2003 Concepcion 5.13+ (67m), Day Canyon, Moab, Utah. First Ascent. - 2006 Heaven (5.12d/13a) Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley. First solo ascent. - 2006 Southern Belle (V 5.12d), Half Dome, Yosemite Valley. Second ascent with Leo Houlding.