Scott Bennett is most at home on long, committing alpine routes in the mountains. He has put up many first ascents in Patagonia and the quieter corners of North America. When mountains aren’t available, he also has a liking for big in-a-day route link ups and speed challenges.
Scott picked up the climbing bug at university, cutting his teeth on the sandstone of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. However it wasn’t long before the desire for bigger walls and bigger objectives grew. Following the classic dirtbag circuit around the west coast, he consolidated his skills and developed his personal style of ‘fast and light meets thrutch and whine’. One-day and speed ascents of El Capitan, including a 6½ hour ascent of The Nose, followed on from here.
This proved to be the perfect combination of styles for transitioning into the alpine environment and produced some fruitful seasons in Patagonia. The big breakthrough came during a spell of uncharacteristically good weather around El Chaltén.
After bagging a number of ambitious free routes, he made the first ascent of the North Pillar Sit Start. With over 2000m of vertical ascent in four days, finishing on the summit of Fitz Roy, this is one of the longest climbs in the region and earned Scott the AAC’s Robert Hicks Bates Award for an outstanding accomplishment by a young climber.
Scott has described himself as a “highly energetic yet essentially mediocre” rock climber who “occasionally has a good day in the mountains… purely through luck and a positive ape index.”, but we suspect there’s a bit more to him than long arms and good fortune.
- Naked Edge (5.11 140m), Eldorado Canyon, Colorado - car to car in under 25 minutes, including approach pitches
- North Pillar Sit Start (VI 5.11 A1, 2000m), Aguja Mermoz & Cerro Fitz Roy, Patagonia - first ascent
- West Pillar (5.11+, 600m), Cerro Pollone, Patagonia - first free ascent
- East Buttress (V 5.10 50°, 1200m), The Angel, Revelations Range, Alaska - first ascent
- Manos al Cielo (5.11+, 400m), Aguja Guillamet, Patagonia - first ascent
- Cosas Patagónicas (5.11+ 450m), Aguja Mermoz, Patagonia - first free ascent
- The Canadian Club (5.11, 500m), The Stilletto, Waddington Range - first ascent
- The Heretic (5.11+, 350m), North Cascades - first ascent