Phill Watts Memorial Library


While teaching at Northern Michigan University for 38 years, Phil became an internationally acclaimed rock climbing and mountaineering researcher. He authored 111 papers/presentations that are primarily in the areas of rock climbing/mountaineering and Nordic skiing. He was twice selected to give the opening keynote lecture at the International Conference on Science and Technology in Climbing and Mountaineering as well as the keynote address at the 3rd Congress of the International Rock Climbing Research Association.

Phil also was an accomplished mountaineer with a passion for the North Cascades. From the mid 80’s through the 2000’s saw Phil on the summit of many of the Cascade’s classic peaks.

Phil will always be remembered in our hearts for, his kindness, a lover of pancakes, mochas and ice cream, but most of all, a great friend, mentor, educator, and leader to our climbing community. He will be sorely missed.

In typical Phil fashion, Phil donated his climbing guidebook collection to the Upper Peninsula climbing community which will be permanently stored at Down wind Sports in Marquette. The U.P. climbing community will be forever in debt to Phils dedication and generosity to Upper Peninsula climbing.