American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Dudley Tyler Smith, 1902-1994

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995



Dudley Tyler Smith was born in Denver on February 28, 1902 and died there on May 26, 1994. He became a member of the American Alpine Club in 1928 and in 1920 joined the Colorado Mountain Club after being a guest on a club trip to Crestone Needle. He made many climbs in Colorado with Carl Blaurock, Steve and Jerry Hart, Elwyn Arps, Henry Buchtel and others. In 1927, he made several of the better known climbs in Zermatt and Chamonix in the Alps and was one of the early climbers in the Tetons, which he first visited in 1930.

Longs Peak was the object of many climbs. In 1910, at the tender age of eight, he and the rest of the party were turned back by the weather. The first successful ascent was in 1915, when he climbed the mountain with his father. In 1923, he was a member of the group that climbed Longs Peak’s east face three days after Alexander’s first ascent. He made 18 further ascents of the face before he returned with me in 1965 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first climb of the mountain.

After 1965, in his mid-sixties he took up white-water running and descended the San Juan (before Lake Powell), the Yampa, Ladore, Desolation and Gray Canyons, the Salmon, the Dolores, the Columbia in Canada, and the Grand Canyon. In later years, he became a student of geomorphology, especially as it pertained to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Rockies.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925 and obtained a master’s degree from the Yale School of Architecture in 1928. After working in New York, he returned to Denver in 1935, where he established his own architectural firm, Smith, Hegner and Moore, from which he retired in 1968.

He married the former Ruth Hollister in 1941 and is survived by her, three children, eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Dudley T. Smith, JR.

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