Raphael Slawinski

Sport

Climb

Hometown

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Hometown

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sport

Climb

Raphael, often referred to as Raph, is on a different level than most earthlings. Analytical and high functioning, Raph is the son of successful immigrants. Everyone in his family has a PhD, with his being in physics. Early on as a child, Raph envisioned himself climbing mountains with ice axes and crampons, a possible by-product of his parents’ shared passion for climbing. From the first instance he put pick to ice, he was enthralled and since has become one of the most prolific mixed climbers on the planet. Once Raph decides to do a climb, his laser focus kicks in and he is virtually unstoppable, a habit that favours him most of the time. Although Raph’s motivations are internal, he once won a medal at the X-Games without training. As a reward, he took his earnings and bought his first two Sphynx cats. When Raph isn’t climbing, teaching or reading sci-fi, he is most likely whipping up delicious vegetarian food with his wife at their home in Calgary.

Achievements

  • Psyched on climbing 30 years after first alpine summit in 1989
  • Balanced a climbing passion with three other roles - husband, cat father and full-time university professor 
  • Decent all-rounder, from multi-pitch sport routes to ice, mixed and alpine climbs
  • Part of the start of the M-climbing revolution in the late 1990s, from some of the first M10s and 11s in North America to alpine first winter ascents in the Canadian Rockies
  • Learned to play the expedition game, and persevered through several less than successful trips to Pakistan to make the First Ascent of K6 West,7040 m in 2013
  • Survived 30 years of adventuring in the mountains, sometimes through luck - nothing to be proud of - but sometimes by not letting desire overrule better judgment - something to be proud of

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