Known as the “Dean of Adirondack Climbing,” Don Mellor has been climbing in the Adirondacks since the 1970s. He epitomizes the adventurous spirit of Adirondack Climbing, and has participated in 163 new routes (Lawyer, Haas 30). He helped discover many cliffs throughout the high peaks, putting hard work navigating the wilderness and developing new routes. He has also overseen almost the entire modern period of Adirondack climbing, and still climbs regularly today. His guidebook, Climbing in the Adirondacks, was the go-to source of information for Adirondack climbing. It provided some details on climbing routes but left lots of information out to preserve the sense of adventure in Adirondack rock climbing.
Don still guides for Rock and River Guide Services in Keene, and teaches at the Northwoods School in Lake Placid. He went from being perhaps the premier climber in the Adirondacks to the premier educator and guide. In this way he passes on the ethics and traditions of Adirondack climbing to the next generation of climbers. On the Rock and River website: “These days, Don admits to getting more of a kick seeing the light go on in the eyes of a newcomer than in any climbs he gets to author on his own” (Don Mellor- Rock and River).