Eddie Bauer Rock Athlete
Eddie Bauer Rock Athlete
A CLIMBER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND SKIER, DITTO HAS 30 YEARS IN THE HIGH-STAKES MOUNTAIN TRAVEL GAME AND SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN
After three decades of itinerant van residence, Ben Ditto is now living in the climbing epicenter of Bishop, CA. From Baffin Island and the Patagonian Andes to the high Himalayas, the talented photographer has climbed with and captured the world’s best rock stars at the very limits of their discipline. His images have appeared in Climbing, Rock and Ice, and Alpinist, as well as regularly on our Live Your Adventure blog and in the branded commercial bibles of the outdoor industry.
The sandbagged secret about Ditto is that he is an extremely accomplished multi-discipline climber in his own right, with a passion for any mission in the vertical dimension, from cold, hard alpinism and multi-pitch crack climbing to steep bolted crags and chess-like problem-solving. He was presented the Piolet d'Or—alpinism’s purist and most prestigious award—in 2011, for a three-month, nine first-ascent, sailboat-accessed expedition across the North Atlantic to the previously unclimbed west coast of Greenland. He has also made high-grade ascents such as Cerro Torre via the 2,000-foot towering ice of the Ragni di Lecco route, the 40-pitch climb of Fitzroy via the North Pillar, El Cap all free via Free Rider (5.13a), Fisheye, a 55-meter overhanging route in Oliana, Spain (5.14b), and numerous other 5.14 ascents. Along with Mason Earle on an Eddie Bauer expedition to the Cirque of the Unclimbables, he ticked a first free ascent of At Dawn We Ride (5.12c) and a one-day ascent of Women at Work (VI 5.12R) on Mount Proboscis in the Unclimbables. Ditto was also a team member on the first free ascent of the east face of Torre Central via the South African Route. He’s not afraid of a sit start or a bolted route and has solved problems to a V12 level as well as ticking numerous, sporty 5.13 onsights.
Ditto’s most unconventional and memorable adventure sagas have ranged from ski mountaineering sufferfests in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias range to a ski mountaineering mentorship on a month-long kite-skiing epic across the Southern Patagonian icecap. He completed the Scottish sailboat sequel in 2014, establishing ten more alpine-style wall climbs on the towering coasts of Baffin Island and Greenland with “The Reverend” and “The Belgian Wild Bunch.” He is a Matador Network ambassador and has also contributed his creative eye to a philanthropic effort filming the federally protected peregrine falcon in its wild and natural element. Born with an innate sense of rhythm, Ditto can play a mean pair of spoons, but only aboard a 10-meter sailboat.
Ditto and his wife Katie Lambert have set up shop in Bishop, CA where they work with the community out of their Co-Working Office— Bishop CoWork. Ditto’s years of traveling are far from over- but the pull to solidify his place in a community have drawn him into working with the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition.
• Winner of the Piolet d’Or for his 3-month, 9-first ascent expedition to Greenland (2011)
• Co-recipient of the Charlie Fowler Award at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival for Dodo’s Delight (2016)
• Ascent of Cerro Torre via the Ragni di Lecco route
• 40-pitch ascent of Fitzroy via the North Pillar
• All-free ascent of El Cap via Free Rider (5.13a)