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Newman D. Waffl

(1879-1930) An American, Newman Waffl had climbed extensively in the Alps and the American Rockies prior to his first visit to Canada in 1929. In that year he led the first ascent of Mount Sir Alexander. While returning from Sir Alexander he became fascinated with Mount Robson. The following year he was killed while attempting a solo ascent of Mount Robson. An exceptionally warm day and night was the cause of numerous avalanches on the mountain that day. Searchers discovered some torn clothing and a rucksack. In a letter written shortly before his death Waffl wrote, "Mt. Robson is not so much difficult as dangerous. It is no mountain to trifle with." A tribute written for the 1930 Canadian Alpine Journal states that Newman Waffl, "was a climber of unusual skill, strength, and daring, but his daring was never rashness. On the contrary, his climbing was also an intellectual as well as a physical exercise. He was not only a climber, but a mountaineer with a wide knowledge of mountains and mountain lore. He held that no climbing was good climbing which was not also safe climbing. It seems the irony of fate that a climber of such skill and experience, to whom the forseeing and avoidance of undue risk was fundamental, should have been the victim of a mountaineering accident." [See Mount Waffl]