MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - U.S. rock climbing icon Royal Robbins, who founded the outdoor clothing company bearing his name, has died after a long illness. He was 82.
Company spokeswoman Christina Erb LoVullo said Wednesday he died Tuesday at his home in Modesto, California.
Robbins was a leading figure in the "Golden Age" of Yosemite Valley when climbers made new ascents previously believed to be impossible.
He was also a major promoter of clean climbing techniques and equipment to avoid rock damage.
Robbins and his wife Liz in 1967 made the first ascent of the Nutcracker route on a Yosemite buttress using removable metal wedges for their ropes.
The company says on its website that it was the first climb of its kind in the U.S. and helped fuel the clean climbing movement.