/ Ed Grindley

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petestack - on 13 Feb 2010
It is with great regret that I have to say I've just heard that Ed Grindley died early this morning. As well as our Polldubh Club Meets Secretary and one of the driving forces behind the foundation of the Club and the current Polldubh conservation work, he was of course one of the most respected British climbers of his generation, and I now feel privileged to have shared in some of his last climbs before he became ill so suddenly in the autumn. Our thoughts are of course with Rona at this sad time.

Posted in my capacity as Secretary of The Polldubh Club

Peter Duggan
Doug on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: I never knew him very well (he left Stirling for Glencoe about the time I arrived) but its sad to hear this, didn't even know he'd been ill.

To those who never knew him, as well as new routes in Scotland, he was well known for his new routes in the Lakes in the 1970s.
jon on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

A very sad loss Pete.
Lankyman - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: This is very sad. I think Ed may have been a member of my own club in Lancashire before he left for Scotland? I never met him personally but I certainly enjoyed several of his climbs up there (and backed off a few as well!). Probably the same in the Lakes as well.
ring ouzel on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: Sorry to hear that Pete. I am sure he came into the climbing shop in Stirling that I worked in in the early 80's. I remember his name being whispered with some awe.
ericoides - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

That's really sad; I spent a week with him in Chamonix being shown the alpine ropes in the late 1980s. He was really enthusiastic, competent and friendly; I remember his vivid green outfit very well.
biped - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

That's very sad news Pete, thank you for posting it.

I never knew Ed, I only met him briefly on a couple of occasions, and was at the time a bit in awe of him as I was learning my climbing at Polldubh and Glen Nevis, places where his name rings loud.

RIP Ed and my condolences to all his family and friends. I will toast him later in the pub before the rugby.

Stuart Mitchell.
Frank Cannings on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

I'm sure there will be many fond reminiscences of Ed Grindley posted here - he has been part of the British climbing scene for a long time, a British Mountain Guide, an Honorary Member of The Climbers' Club and Custodian of the CC Scottish Hut Riasg.

Ed was one of the pioneering climbers in South West England between 1968 and 1971 when at Exeter University. He contributed over 40 new climbs, mostly in the VS/ HVS grades. He climbed harder starred routes seconding or through leading with Pat Littlejohn, such as E3 Cocytus at Ansteys Cove, the excellent HVS Sacrosanct on the Sanctuary Wall there and E2 Iconoclast at Babbacombe. In 1969 he accompanied Peter Biven and John Fowler on The Kraken; a 2-star sea traverse at Babbacombe at the height of the Torbay sea-traversing frenzy. Over the winter of 1970/71 he developed climbs at Berry Head Quarry with Beggar's Banquet E2, Paranoid E1 and the girdle Opus Dei E2 being among the starred routes.

Ed is also unfortunately noted amongst the 1971 Lundy pioneers as one who completely misjudged the climbing potential on the island. After climbing only 30 meters up a crumbling wall near the Devil's Limekiln he was unimpressed; his partner decided he was giving up climbing and proceeded to attempt to sell his gear while still on the island!
Only a hill - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:
I am very sorry to hear that. I have only met him once and did not have the opportunity to speak with him much, but his reputation is extraordinary--as Biped says, the names 'Ed Grindley' and 'Polldubh' are inextricably linked.
Andy Long - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:
I'm very sad to hear that. Great guy. Last time I saw him he was trying to teach me and a couple of others how to paraglide on a cold and blustery day in March in Glen Nevis.
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

That's sad news. I didn't know him at all - met him once in a hut and by coincidence started talking about Fallen Angel without knowing who he was - but I remember how friendly and enthusiastic he was.

jcm
jampot - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: Pete, thanks for getting the news out to folks. I spoke with Donald King today to make sure the news is relayed at tonight's mountain film festival. Ed was in the ice factor on average 4 days a week and was a constant source of information, advice and mirth.
He was justifiably treated as a bit of a demi-god by most of us who have repeated some of his ascents.
Life is really crappy some times, he'd just retired, just married Rhona, and just retired in apparently peak fitness with a planned itinerary. A great loss to the mountaineering community. One of life's all round good guys.
Aye
Jamie
petestack - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to Frank Cannings:
> Ed is also unfortunately noted amongst the 1971 Lundy pioneers as one who completely misjudged the climbing potential on the island. After climbing only 30 meters up a crumbling wall near the Devil's Limekiln he was unimpressed; his partner decided he was giving up climbing and proceeded to attempt to sell his gear while still on the island!

Hadn't heard that one, but he certainly remained completely relaxed about having missed Diabaig Pillar (shades of Tom Patey and Ardverikie Wall?) on his way to start developing the Main Cliff at Diabaig with Allan Austin in 1975. On which note, the weekend last September when he returned to that crag for the first time since to lead Rona up the stunning HVS Route Two to be followed by Johnny MacLeod and myself is now destined to be forever one of my treasured memories.

He was encouraging, kind and gentle to those of us quite simply not on the same planet as him where climbing was concerned, and put many, many hours into supervising climbing groups from Lochaber High School and ensuring there were qualified staff to carry on where he left off there. As Jamie has noted above, he had everything to look forward to... recently retired and married, still climbing impressively hard and apparently with many active years ahead. He is a huge loss to climbing, his friends everywhere and (most of all) his family.
heavy - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

Very sad news, Ed was a good friend of many climbers and mountaineers and was always interested in what you did not the grade! A very well thought of man by all who knew him and a he helped us a lot in the early 80's. He was especially helpful to some of our some of our wilder members, to whom he was a hero.

When ever I am at Polldubh I will remember him. Our thoughts are with the family and friends.

From all the RAF MRT, especially "the Bad boys club"!
Colin Moody - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to heavy:

I saw Ed and Cynthia in The Grotto in 1982 after my first visit to Diabaig. I was a bit confused about the routes so Ed drew me a topo on a beer mat.
61 is not a good age to go.
Geoffrey Michaels on 13 Feb 2010 - host86-148-254-82.range86-148.btcentralplus.com
In reply to petestack:

This is very sad news. Ed owned a legendary climbing flat in Fort William which was let at a very cheap rate meaning it could be packed full and accomodate many more than it was designed for. Those people, myself included, owe a debt to Ed Grindley.

Andy Hudson - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: very sad to hear that. I only met him once when he guided me over Cosmique Arete...It was a stunning day with a thoroughly nice chap
Wee Davie - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

Never met him, but have climbed loads of his routes and enjoyed them greatly. What a tremendous legacy in itself. RIP

Davie Crawford
stuartie_c on 13 Feb 2010 - host86-137-238-77.range86-137.btcentralplus.com
In reply to petestack:

Ed taught me Physics at Lochaber High School in the mid 80s and was a calm, laid-back guy with a passion for his subject and an easy, wry manner. He was one of the early influences on my climbing and I met him a few times in subsequent years, both in Scotland and in the Alps. Always encouraging and enthusiastic.

I can still recall the awe when I first saw the Kilt Rock and Neist Point photos in Extreme Rock and the deep sense of satisfaction at topping out on Internationale and Supercharger years later.

Very sad news.

Stuart.
mark mcgowan01 - on 13 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:
sad news...
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Guy - on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: I never knew him but certainly knew of him, wish I had met him. He just sounded like the sort of person you wanted to go for a climb with. RIP.
Paz - on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to Frank Cannings:

Thanks for reminding me where his name rings a bell from, I'm sure he's a great loss and will be sadly missed.
Jasonic - on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: He was one of the tutors on a Johnathon Conville Course I did many years ago, friendly, encouraging and enthusiastic. Sad news.
Al Evans on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to Jasonic: Sad news indeed, I knew Ed well and climbed with him when I lived in Blackpool, our brief spells there coinciding, in fact I bought my first car from Ed.
He was a determined and powerful leader and did many early ascents of routes in the Lake District. On a note pertinent to Frank Cannings comment that he underestimated Lundy, he did the same with Trowbarrow, reporting that it had been blasted and was about to fall down to us in the pub one night. I went to look and top roped Alladin Sane then cleaned and led Jean Jeanie over 30 years ago, it is still standing. Ed never established any routes there though he climbed most of them.
Latterly I hoped to renew my aquaintenceship by paying a visit to the Scottish CC hut of which he was warden.
John Grogan on 14 Feb 2010
I met Ed in Argentierre in 1991 where he was my instructor on the Jonathan Conville course. I had just finished my studies and the summer before I had been climbing on Skye where I mistakenly thought a mate and I had climbed a new route in the descent gully and thought it VS 4c. Later it turned out that it was the Electric Bagpipe VS 5a. Some of our party had plans to climb Supercharger but rain got in the way. I asked Ed if he knew of the route... yes he said very pleasantly, he had done the first ascent 10 years earlier! doh! Ed took me up the introductory routes and I still have a picture of the two of us on the Petit Drus. He was a delight to be with.
Ed wrote a funny April the First article in the High magazine about a earthquake along the Great Glen fault causing the Cioch on Skye to drop off.
I last saw Ed when he was part of the MRT that came to an accident on the Ben in 2000 and he was as gentle as I remembered him in the Alps. It was a privilege to have met him.

mick johnson on 14 Feb 2010 - host-84-13-69-228.opaltelecom.net
In reply to petestack:Ed was a great friend of myself and my partner Julie. We both climbed,bouldered,ski-ed and walked with Ed and Rona in the Chamonix valley many times during the last few years. Ed and I established several new multi-pitch sports routes in the valley often accompanied by Rona.Most of all though Ed was great company and we enjoyed many evenings of good food,wine and music with a litle chat re climbing!Our heartfelt condolences go out to Rona,Joe,Eilidh and all his family.I will have many superb memories of Ed.to cherish every time i am in Chamonix.
AlH - on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: Shocked to hear that Pete. He was a great guy, an inspiration to generations of clients, partners and pupils at Lochaber High. As other posters note he leaves behind an enviable leagacy but will be sorely missed by many.
Al
Mike C on 14 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

Thanks for the post Pete.
I never met Ed but have/had mutual friends from the old Devon climbing scene, including John Fowler who Frank mentioned in his lovely testimony to Ed's great contribution to Devon's climbing history.
A sad loss.
Mike Corser
richparker on 15 Feb 2010 - host86-151-192-243.range86-151.btcentralplus.com
In reply to petestack: What a loss. Ed was one of the worlds truly good guys and he has had such a positive influence over so many people, he helped me with guiding tips and helped my wife when she was stuck with uni physics.
He was one of the mellowest, steadiest, coolest and friendly people I've ever met.
I remember him telling me just after he retired that he was so delighted to be paid by the government to climb full time!
HappyTrundler - on 15 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

I remember his new routes at Land's End in the 70's, also a great picture of him leading Desolation Row in Great Zawn that was in Mountain magazine many years ago...anybody know how I could find that picture, I've searched the usual engines?...
creag - on 16 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:
I first heard of Ed on the front cover of the legendary Polldubh guide book, then the following year as my Physics teacher. My physics was never going to excel but Ed spent plenty of time sharing info on routes and recommending places to climb. He also gave me the key to the Lochaber High School Climbing wall, built in an old cooling tower by himself and former pupils...
I've since then shared time with Ed on many rescues as fellow members of the LMRT and on 2 occasions over the last 3 years, sitting at the top of the Red Burn with him and Rhona watching the runners on the Ben race. Ever modest, Ed quietly telling me of his retirement plans and thinking to myself how lucky he was and how deserving of that pleasure, now cruelly denied.
Goodbye Ed.
toniemms - on 19 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:
Very sad to hear about Ed Grindley. I met him when I was on an Iain Nicholson's 'Glencoe School of Winter Mountaineering' course many years ago. Not sure whether he was part of the team at that time or was just helping out, but I do remember the advice and encouragement he gave me.
unclesamsauntibess - on 19 Feb 2010
In reply to HappyTrundler: give me a closer approximation of date and I could find the picture in "Mountain", I have an almost complete set -just missing the first fifteen issues.
Anonymous on 20 Feb 2010 - unassigned.calpop.com
I first met Ed and Cynthia Grindley during the winter of 1980-81. I was a young Yank in Glencoe wanting to immerse myself in Scottish winter climbing. Ed and Cynth took me under their wing and I spent many a day and night being warm and cozy in their home in Glencoe. They treated me so well I was back the following winter.

That second winter I repeated a number of Ed's new routes at Poldubh (Land Ahoy, et al) with Ed. We also had several fun bouldering sessions in a small cement room at the Ft William School where Ed had constructed a climbing wall.

Ed & Cynth came to the Gunks in New York to visit. We did gobs of routes, including a couple of first ascents in the Near Traps (International Harvesters and Boston Tree Party).

Ed was a great guy and I will always remember the time I spent with him.
Helen Waner Morecambe - on 23 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack: I knew Ed in the late sixties/early seventies before he moved to Scotland. He was engaged to my friend Meg and we spent many memorable days/weekends/holidays in the Lakes and Cornwall camping,climbing,drinking together so I am very sad to read your posting. Another star gone before his time!
Al Evans on 23 Feb 2010
In reply to Helen Waner Morecambe: We must have met around then?
Eric9Points - on 23 Feb 2010
In reply to petestack:

Very sad to hear of his death. I didn't know him well but he gave the impression of being a nice bloke with loads of time for those who climbed many grades below his standard.

So sad that's he's left us so early.
cath357 on 24 Feb 2010 - host86-168-6-82.range86-168.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to petestack) I never knew him very well (he left Stirling for Glencoe about the time I arrived) but its sad to hear this, didn't even know he'd been ill.
>
> To those who never knew him, as well as new routes in Scotland, he was well known for his new routes in the Lakes in the 1970s.

to those that never knew him in the climbing world, that guy was such an inspiration 2 his pupils in school. if it wasnt 4 mr grindley my daughter wouldnt have the confidense 2 follo0w here dreams
. thank mr grindley. you knew who im talking about. u gave her so much confindence.I will always thank you. R.I.P.





















wilkie14c - on 24 Feb 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
I didn't know you lived in Blackpool Al, when was it and where did you live?? I've been here 18 years now, scary how fast time goes when you measure it.
Al Evans on 24 Feb 2010
In reply to blanchie14c: I lived on Reads Avenue and also Palatine Rd. I did a course at the school of photography at Blackpool College, roughly 1970-1974.
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wilkie14c - on 24 Feb 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
Well before my time then but I have been here every year on childhood holidays with grandparents so can remember what it was like in the 70's. I first moved here in June '92 and got a bedsit on Regent Road - just around the corner from the Blackpool collage. My mates daughter finished her 2 year course in that collage recently - media studies, you never know, she too may become a TV cameraman <camera-person>
Was that when you did the routes in Trowbarrow? Come to think of it, I do seem to remember a story about a monkey and the Trowbarrow routes? Was it a sea front photograph monkey or just my fuddled memory?
Palatine road area has be renamed locally as little Poland, It is where a lot of imigrant workers live. A large number of the B&B's and holiday flats now house imigrants and the unemployed <a lot of Scots have moved down to Blackpool, perhaps in the hope of cheap accomodation and work?> It appears to me that the holiday business has died and in order to retain an income, the property owners have been forced to rent out their property to anyone they can get or face going bust. Its sad as the town now has a big drugs and crime problem. Still same as anywhere I guess.
I imagine you had a blast in the 70's here, it was Blackpool's golden time, the first five years or so where good times for me, got up to alsorts and when you just leave your mum and dads and move to a place like this you really think you've made it!!
Al Evans on 24 Feb 2010
In reply to blanchie14c: Blackpool was a good time, yes Trowbarrow routes, though I did live in Morecambe by the time of the monkeys and Jean Jeanie.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=210
Still hanging round in Blackpool though, hence knowing Ed.
wilkie14c - on 24 Feb 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
Thats where the monkey memory came from! Wow, really 4 years since that was published? time flies eh. shout up next time you are over, would love to shake hands over a brew and talk shit! I have a mate from Morecambe and now I always look how the shrimps are doing, really holding their own since promotion. Blackpool are having the best season in memory regulary turning over some big names, don't think they are good enough for promotion though, still, if they do, at least they will prob break our dubious premiership record! <Derby County>
Chris Pellow on 16 Mar 2010 - 82-69-54-176.dsl.in-addr.zen.co.uk
In reply to petestack:
I only heard of Ed's passing away last week. It was an utter shock and I still cannot believe that this friendly, ever smiling and vibrant man is no more.
Ed played a pivotal role in our lives as through his patient and caring attititude he was able to instill a love for anything physics in our son with Asperger's and ADHD.

We can't believe he is gone. He will be forever in our hearts.
Our thoughts go to his family.

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