Reference Number:
GB 3075 DEH
Photographs of Derek Hersey
2 DVD's
Creator Name 1:
Bartlett | Stephen
Biog/Admin History:
Derek Geoffrey Hersey was born on the 26th October 1956 and was originally from Stretford, Greater Manchester, England. His father introduced him to the outdoors through weekly hikes close to Manchester and Hersey learned to climb on Peak District gritstone. In 1983, after being unemployed for five years, Hersey moved to the USA and settled in Boulder, Colorado where he remained for the next ten years.

Hersey was considered an icon of the climbing scene in Boulder and was renowned for his solo climbing, mostly within the 5.10-5.11 grade range. He was much admired for his gregarious nature and non judgmental attitude and acquired the nickname 'Dr Death' from pushing himself to the limit of his abilities. A careful and dedicated climber, he referred to Eldorado Canyon as his office as he went there most days soloing up to twenty different pitches at a time.

The 1000ft Diamond Face of Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park saw Hersey solo three separate routes in one day; completing the same feat on the 1,500ft Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Naked Edge saw him achieve the second ever solo of its jutting prow and 500ft drop.

On 28 May 1993, whilst soloing without protective gear the relatively straightforward Steck-Salath Route on Sentinel Rock in Yosemite National Park, he fell several hundred feet to his death.

A wake was held on the 4th June in Eldorado Canyon where several hundred friends joined together to commemorate his life by watching a slide show of his climbing endeavours.
Archival History:
Digital scans created from original slides held
Acquisition Source:
Donated by S Bartlett
Accession Number:
Scope and Content:
Digital scans of slides featuring Derek Hersey and others rock climbing in the United States of America. Identified photographers include Steve Bartlett, Steve Dieckhoff, Joel Dyer, Debbie Gregg, Gary Ryan and Beth Wald.
original order maintained
Access Conditions:
This collection is open for consultation. Readers are advised to contact the Mountain Heritage Trust in advance of their visit in order to make an appointment.
Reproduction Copyright:
Copyright remains with photographer
Finding Aids:
Ext and Loc of Originals:
Held by donor.
Description compiled by Maxine Willett, Archivist,
Access Points:
Hersey, Derek Geoffrey (1956-1993)
Rock climbing
United States of America
Related Entities:
National Media Museum
2013-04-09 00:00:00
M Willett