Oliver Perry-Smith: American mountain climber (1884 - 1969) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Oliver Perry-Smith
American mountain climber

Oliver Perry-Smith

Oliver Perry-Smith
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American mountain climber
Was Athlete Skier Ski jumper Nordic combined skier
From United States of America
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 11 October 1884
Death 13 May 1969 (aged 84 years)
Star sign Libra
The details (from wikipedia)


Oliver Perry-Smith (October 11, 1884 in Philadelphia – 13 May 1969) was an American rock climber, mountaineer and skier who moved to Dresden in 1902 to attend a technical university.

Climbs in Saxon Switzerland

He became well known in the Sächsische Schweiz for the first ascents of major sandstone rock towers such as:

  • Schrammtorwächter (VI) in 1905
  • Kanzelturm (VI) in 1905
  • Teufelsturm (VIIb) in 1906 (at 5.8+ - with a shoulder stand - a very difficult rock climb)

and first ascents of several climbing routes that are still very popular today, e. g.:

  • Spannagelturm Perrykante VIIb in 1906
  • Falkenstein Südriss (VIIa) in 1913
  • Daxenstein Klavier (VIIa) in 1913
  • Daxenstein Perryriss (VIIb) in 1913

(All grades Saxon rating)

In total "he made more than 90 ascents in Saxon Switzerland, 33 of which are rated VI or above; there were 32 first ascents, 13 solo climbs and 36

additional ones on which he led".


On a trip to the Alps in 1908 he and his friend Rudolf Fehrmann made a number of first ascents.

  • The most famous is the "Fehrmann Corner" (in German, Fehrmannverschneidung), V-, on Campanile Basso, SW face (also known as "Guglia di Brenta", in Brenta group in Dolomites, on August 28). Despite its name, this route was led by Perry-Smith (because, as explained in biographical article in AAJ 1964, "Fehrmann was the first to sign the summit book and later he was assumed by later climbers to be a leader").
  • One of others of their new routes is the north face of Cima Piccola di Lavaredo (in German: Kleine Zinne), Aug 15.

In the Alps "his repeated ascents include also Weisshorn, Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, Wellenkuppe, Obergabelhorn, Kleine Zinne".


Beside his achievements in climbing, he also won the Austrian championship in cross-country-skiing and ski-jumping in 1914.

Other aspects

There are a number of anecdotes depicting Perry-Smith as a rather unusual character:

  • When people doubted his ascent of 'Perryriss', he climbed that route again and wrote in big letters 'Perry' on the rock. (it can still be read today)
  • He owned a Bugatti race car and got in trouble with the police several times for driving fast and hazardously.
  • He was once arrested for getting drunk and disturbing the peace by threatening people with a pistol in the town of Bad Schandau.

In the year 1914 Oliver Perry-Smith returned to the US, never to visit Saxony again.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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