The beginning...

Wow, this just showed up in my email.

Here I am in 1998, 21 years ago, interviewing Glen Dawson, the first climber I photographed for what became The Climbers book two decades later. Look how bright eyed and bushy tailed I look. I had no idea then what this project would turn in to.

Glen had a very long, rich life. He began climbing in the Sierra Nevada in the 1920s and was one of the best California rock climbers of the era. He was on the first ascent of the East Face of Mt. Whitney in 1931 as well as numerous other first ascents in the Sierra. He also climbed in Mexico, Canada, Germany, Wales and Italy, all before World War 2. Then he went to the war where he was climbing and ski instructor for the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado and Italy. He earned a Bronze Star for combat in northern Italy.

His father opened Dawson’s Books in Los Angeles in 1905. After the war Glen dealt in antiquarian books through the family book shop.

Glen was born in 1912 and died in 2016 at 103 years of age.

Thanks Peter Orth for the photo. He went with me to Glen’s house in Pasadena that day. Glen was moving out and locking the door right after we left. He’d lived there for 57 years. His wife needed to live in a nursing home and he was moving with her.

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Jim Herrington

"In the 1990s, after more than a decade of climbing in the Sierra Nevada, Jim Herrington embarked on a journey to photograph some of the most formidable mountaineers of the past generation. In this episode, rock-and-roll photographer Herrington discusses his recently released coffee-table book The Climbers and some of the stories from behind the scenes. Plus, a tribute to Fred Beckey."

Listen here:


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I recorded an interview at NPR's New York studios today with the WBUR Boston radio show 'Only A Game'. We talked about The Climbers. It will broadcast soon, watch this space.

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Jim HerringtonNPR