Hans Kraus

by John Rupley

Hans was the climbing mentor of Jim McCarthy and myself. When young, living in Trieste, Hans learned to climb in the Dolomites. Among his friends and climbing partners were Emilio Comici and Gino Solda. He carried the Dolomite techniques of high-angle face climbing to this country. With Fritz Wiessner, Hans opened the Shawangunks for climbing in the early 1930's. Over the next 40 years he established many of the classic Shawangunk routes. Hans, a physician, was one of the founders of physical medicine and the father of sports medicine. He was elected to the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1974. He was Associate Professor at New York Univ. Medical College. His studies on children led to President Eisenhower's establishing the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He was President Kennedy's back doctor and had as patients a long list of other celebrities (Arthur Godfrey, Katherine Hepburn, etc.). Hans combined several full lives into his allotted one, contributing to medicine, public service, and climbing.

Hans Kraus at camp below Liberty Bell
Hans Kraus, age 50, at camp below North Face of Liberty Bell, 1956. The North Cascades Highway was not yet built. We had hiked 15-20 miles from the road end to reach camp below the face .

Kraus route, Snowpatch, Bugaboos, 1956
Kraus route, Snowpatch, Bugaboos, 1956.

Copyright ©: 2002, John and Ila Rupley
Revised: February 12, 2002
Corrections/Comments: bob@climbaz.com
URL: http://www.climbaz.com