As many of you know, John was among the pioneers in the free-climbing revolution in the US in the late 1970's, with a long list of hard free climbs in the Gunks, Eldorado Canyon, and Yosemite.
He made first free ascents in the Gunks of Yellow Wall, Enduroman, and Kansas City, as well as adding the new routes Gravity's Rainbow and Iron Cross. He did Mellow Yellow and Cinch Crack in Eldorado Canyon, and Enema Crack and Orangutan Arch in Yosemite.
Many of John's routes were among the first 5.12 routes in the US, and climbers are only beginning to realize how hard Iron Cross is. Perhaps 5.13, it is only recently being repeated on the lead, so far with pre-placed protection, which Bragg did not use.
John was also part of the first generation of American climbers who simultaneously climbed at the highest standards on ice as well as on rock. His first ascents on ice include Repentance, The Fang, and The Power of Positive Thinking.
Bragg took these rock and ice standards to the Fitzroy area of Patagonia, where, in 1976, he was part of a team of three that did the first ascent of Torre Egger. The next year he joined another team of three on the second ascent of Cerro Torre's West Face -- the first American and first alpine style ascent of the mountain.
He has returned to the Fitzroy area twice in the ensuing years, making two attempts to solo the Super Couloir on Cerro Fitzroy. In 2003 he led an exploration of an area on the eastern edge of the Patagonian Icecap near Logo O'Higgins where he and Jim Donini made several attempts to climb the unclimbed Cerro Kruger.
In 2006, he led his seventh expedition to Patagonia to an unexplored area near Puerto Murta, Chile. There, the team made explorations and an attempt on an unclimbed peak they named The Fortress.
John's multi-media presentation describes several of his expeditions, from the first ascent of Torre Egger, to the second ascent of Cerro Torre, to explorations and climbs in remote areas. Along the way, we learn some of the early history of the area, as well as of the early climbs and the controversy surrounding the claimed first ascent of Cerro Torre, one of the great mysteries of modern mountaineering.
The show is on the SUNY New Paltz campus in Lecture Room LC 100 at 8:00pm and is co-sponsored by Rock and Snow. Admission is a $10.00 donation to the Gunks Climbers Coalition Rescue Fund. A campus map and driving directions can be obtained at http://www.newpaltz.edu/map
Hope to see you there!