How Jeremy Moffatt became Jerry Moffatt
Jerry Moffatt and his Ghost Writer
© Vertebrate Publishing
"I had already done one new route, a few years before, when a friend and me did a new VS in some old quarry near school, a grotty little place that no one ever went to. Really unimportant. But I sent the details of my climb off to the magazines, where new routes were recorded at the time. As a mad keen youth, I was desperate to see my name in the mags. I wrote the name and grade and the date we did it on in a letter to the editor of Crags magazine, Geoff Birtles. I went to write my name under it. At the time, people at school either called me Jeremy, like my parents did, or Jez. I thought about it. Jeremy. Jeremy Moffatt. It didn't sound to cool, really. Jez Moffatt? No. None of the top climbers are called anything like Jez.
Jerry? Jerry Moffatt? That sounded better. I signed the letter, posted it off, and a month or two later, the magazine came out, and there was the route, and after it, my name. From that day on, I decided I would be known as Jerry Moffatt.
Vertebrate Publishing to publish biographies of Jerry Moffatt and Ron Fawcett
Sheffield based publisher Vertebrate Publishing, www.v-publishing.co.uk (you may know them as Vertebrate Graphics) are to publish the biographies of Jerry Moffatt and Ron Fawcett, two of the world's greatest ever rock climbers.
The first to be published, in January 2009, is Jerry Moffatt's autobiography. A force in world rock climbing in the 1980s and 1990s, Jerry not only dominated the crags at home in the UK, with cutting edge routes such as Master's Wall and Liquid Ambar, he took his talent and drive to the crags of France, Germany and the USA, repeating the hardest routes in fine style and establishing harder routes of his own. His ability to travel and perform away from home, across a range of climbing disciplines that included the competition circuit, has led many to regard him as the greatest rock climber ever.
With a working title of 'The Ace: 20 years on top of the pack', this is a first-hand account of what it takes to be the best: the ups and downs, the extraordinary level of dedication to training and climbing, the iconic characters of the time (Wolfgang Gullich, Kurt Albert, Ron Kauk, John Bachar, Ben Moon, Jean Baptiste Tribout – legends in their own right) that Jerry climbed with and with whom he wrote rock climbing history.
As Jerry travelled, the story travels with him. To the gritstone outcrops and limestone dales of the Peak District, the mountain crags and limestone cliffs of North Wales, the south of France, the Frankenjura in Germany, Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Colorado in the USA, Africa and Australia – all major stops in a climbing career littered with cutting edge first ascents and lightning-quick repeats of local testpieces.
Visit www.jerrymoffatt.com to view an exclusive extract from Jerry's personal climbing diary and to register for news about exclusive signed copies. This website will be updated in the run-up to publication.
Vertebrate have also commissioned the biography of Ron Fawcett. Due for publication in summer 2009 and being written by Colin Wells, this is an insight into the life of a quiet man and outstanding rock climber who Jerry Moffatt admits was a childhood hero.
Ron Fawcett climbing Wrong Hand Route, Bamford. © Ian Smith