Timmy O'Neill's Bio

Mar 19, 2004
Outside Magazine
Timmy Oneill

Timmy O'Neill's adventurous spirit was fostered in the urban open spaces surrounding his childhood home in Philadelphia. He learned to kayak at the age of five, and later explored the boundaries of Fernwood cemetery and the banks of Cob's Creek in search of excitement—which usually involved burned-out cars and run ins with the cops. At age nineteen, he moved to Yellowstone National Park, beginning a seven-year traveling stint through America's pristine wilderness. He soon discovered rock climbing in Yosemite National Park and decided that this would be the road to his dreams.

O'Neill is one of the fastest climbers in the world. He has set many speed records in Yosemite National Park on several of its formations, including a world-record ascent, with Dean Potter, of the famed Nose on El Capitan in 3 hours 24 minutes. That same Yosemite season, O'Neill and Potter became the first to ever link-up, in a continuous push, three massive Grade VI walls, climbing over 80 pitches and 9,000 vertical feet in less than 24 hours.

During the past several years, Timmy has been exploring the world's great mountain ranges, climbing from Pakistan to Patagonia. His most recent adventures include scaling massive granite monoliths in Greenland, leading a four-day ascent of El Cap with Warren McDonald, a double above-the-knee leg amputee, and climbing limestone cliffs in Cuba. In addition to athletic exploration, O'Neill has been breaking ground with film and public speaking. His film Urban Ape, which features hilarious climbing antics, has won over five major Mountain Film Festival awards. Timmy continues to work on film projects, and is also receiving acclaim for his outrageously funny climbing slideshows.

"O'Neill is the smartest, funniest presenter out there today," saysYvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia clothing company.

Forget the "gnarly man vs. gnarly mountain" approach to climbing shows. Prepare yourself for stomach cramps and watery eyes as climber, comedian, and "Urban Ape" Timmy O'Neill gives his own Monty Python-inspired approach to a major climbing expedition.

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