/ NEW ARTICLE: Ron Fawcett talks about Soloing

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UKC Articles - on 16 Feb 2010
[Ron Fawcett's new book - Rock Athlete, 3 kb]In this exclusive excerpt from his new book Rock Athlete, Ron Fawcett, one of Britain's most influential climbers, talks openly about his soloing exploits at Tremadog, on Yorkshire Gritstone and on the main cliff of Gogarth.

"There was just one clear thought looping round my head: How the fuck do I get off this?"

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2495

ChrisBrooke - on 16 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Great read. I'll be looking forward to getting the book. I love stories like that - sweaty palms in the safety of my office chair!
In reply to UKC Articles:

I remember gearing up at the foot of The Plum once at Tremadog and Ron came up just as i was tying on a asked if it was OK to go on ahead. Which of course it was. By the time I had got my 1st runner in he had finished The Plum, climbed down The Fang and disappeared back up Extraction!


Chris
James Oswald - on 16 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Awesome exciting reading!
James
Morgan Woods - on 16 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

superb! plus i had no idea Stevie soloed Positron....it would still be front page news if it happened today.
nniff - on 17 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

When I was a youngster, I was at the Roaches and pleased as punch for having soloed Wombat, nice and steadily. Then Ron came along and soloed up Wombat (no feet) and down the adjacent route (Walleroo?), also no feet. Self-esteem disappeared like a popped balloon. A couple of walkers expressed their amazement and Ron replied "Eee, it's me job, like", having just become Britain's first professional rock climmber.
The Pylon King on 17 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Yeah great article, will get book.
Reminds me of my phase of soloing near my limit.
Rampikino - on 17 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very nice reading, well written and with a great hook to keep you interested. Looks like this will go on my list...
GrahamD - on 17 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Am I getting confused or didn't Ron nearly come unstuck soloing La Demande ?
Bulls Crack - on 17 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Ron's dog sniffed mt=y balls once......apropos of nothing
Al Evans on 18 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I remember that fall he mentions at Crookrise, we were soloing some VS slab and Ron was so relaxed on the rock he just turned round to talk to me, hands off and everything.
He hurtled down the slab and there had been a fire at Crookrise , at the foot of the route was a fallen fir tree with its branches burnt down to sharp daggers, Ron was heading to be impaled up on it. At the foot of the slab he dropped onto his back and just slithered underneath it, it was an incredible athletic feat but really you had to see it to appreciate it.
Chris the Tall - on 18 Feb 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
We all know your stories can go on a bit, but I've never heard of anyone taking such drastic action to escape ;)
Jon Barton on 20 Feb 2010
In reply to Chris the Tall: There's a photo just unearthed of Ron soloing Elder Crack - utterly relaxed, he looks about 18. Awesome.
murdster on 20 Feb 2010 - cpc3-gate9-2-0-cust533.gate.cable.virginmedia.com
Is it just me or is the cover photo out of focus?

There must be countless amazing pictures of Fawcett climbing. In focus.
Ian Parsons - on 21 Feb 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think it's typical of Ron that, almost in the same breath as describing his "worrying" retreat off Positron, he mentions that a few years later it was soloed by Stevie Haston. Many "professionals" don't acknowledge the achievements of their "rivals", even years later; Ron, in his prime, was a fine example of a professional with an amateur, and a gentleman, trying to get out.
cwi - on 25 Feb 2010
I was also lucky enough to bump into Ron on a number of occasions.
Every time he seemed happy to endure yet another visitor watching.
Legend doesn't really do him justice.
wilkie14c - on 25 Feb 2010
In reply to cwi:
In over 20 years of reading climbing material, I still think "100 extremes in a day" is one of the best essays every written.
Atticus Finch - on 25 Feb 2010
In reply to blanchie14c:
> I still think "100 extremes in a day" is one of the best essays every written.

Could anyone provide a link or a copy of this essay?

Much obliged
wilkie14c - on 26 Feb 2010
In reply to Atticus Finch:
It is in the book "Fawcett on rock" and i think it was in either high or OTE mag. If you have no luck with anyone knowing of a link, i'll scan and mail it you. I know some OTE articles were on tinterweb once...
James Oswald - on 26 Feb 2010
In reply to blanchie14c:
I think you can find some of them through the Climber magazine site..
James
wilkie14c - on 26 Feb 2010
In reply to James Oswald:
Ok, can't help right now though as I'm at work but if it can't be found I'll scan it over the W/E and mail it out. I think it was public domain as a quick google has revealed it was once on thefreeclimber.com but that site seems to now be dead. If anyone has objections to me scanning from the book, I'll keep it on the shelf.
blanch
Atticus Finch - on 26 Feb 2010
In reply to blanchie14c: No worries I'll buy the book I reckon.

Thanks for that
mr mills - on 03 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I dont have any heroes but, big Ron comes really close, I was fortunate to be on my first climbing trip in 1991 to El-Chorro and shared the same house as Ron and one of my other legendry mate P.Williams.

I have much respect for this man as a climber and a person, a real gentleman, dont think he would remember me but he has made an
impact in my climbing life.

One quote I can remember on the trip, as Ron, Paul and myself headed up to Makindromo, on reaching the anchor of `Lourdes` he shouted out "well you can f**c ne with a spanner"

mills.
Ian Parsons - on 03 Mar 2010
In reply to mr mills:
"dont think he would remember me"

I bet he does.

In reply to UKC Articles: I know someone who met him when he did that traverse of Stanage - said he was a top bloke.

I don't understand the significance of the "talks openly" bit in the preamble bit above - is it a dirty secret or something?
Sean Kelly - on 05 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I was instructing someone up 'One step...' just after the traverse, when a hand appeared then the head of Jimmy Jewell who had just soloed Vector so we chatted for a minute , and he disappeared off down somewhere. A few moments later he appeared again in the same place. He had soloed Vector for a second time. 'It's so good you have to do it twice!' he remarked. Cool dude.
brian cropper - on 07 Mar 2010
In reply to Sean Kelly: jimmy jewell thats a book
orge - on 08 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really enjoyed the talk at the Works last night. The "audience with Ron" format worked well, although Ed had his work cut out getting Ron to talk about his achievements! His overall modesty, with just a hint of pride, was thoroughly endearing and said so much about his attitude to life. The best moments were definitely the odd cheeky ad lib from Ron, as the spotlight was turned slightly away from his life (also, possibly after the beer had begun to sink in):

"I bet Sharma didn't have to put out his own chairs"

The guest ale from Kelham Island breweries was also much appreciated (FiveTen Beer with "come on ales do your stuff" and Ron motif)! Now if only they could make the Works a little warmer... ;)

J
Graeme Alderson on 08 Mar 2010
In reply to orge:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> "I bet Sharma didn't have to put out his own chairs"
>

Obviously Ron didn't HAVE to help us put out the chairs but the fact that he mucked in to help speaks volumes.



Graeme Alderson on 08 Mar 2010
In reply to Graeme Alderson: And thanks for all the donations to Beth's 4x4 fund. We raised 260
ads.ukclimbing.com

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