The climber who inspired me most was Ron Fawcett because he seemed to be able to climb on all types of rock at the top level and could climb long scary routes unroped.He had a level of skill and confidence I could only dream of.Who inspired or inspires you and why?
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Include non brits too.
Reinhold messner climbed all peaks over 8000 metres first and did everest
without oxygen when medical experts said it was impossible.He climbed the Eiger in 10 hours.In terms of physical fitness and mental strength and self belief I doubt there has been anyone better than him.
He used to train by running 3000 ft uphill on his toes!
In reply to BolderLicious:
It says on wikipedia's Reinhold Messner page:
Reinhold Messner (born 17 September 1944) is a mountaineer, adventurer and explorer from the Italian autonomous province of South Tyrol, "whose astonishing feats on Everest and on peaks throughout the world have earned him the status of the greatest climber in history."
So I suppose we should all feel inspired by him.
In reply to BolderLicious: I watched Fawcett climbing at Almscliffe when he was at the start of his career. B*stard. He more or less was responsible for me giving up climbing after I had gone to university, at a time I foolishly imagined that leading a few E1s and E2s was putting me at the cutting edge.
I think he is a great bloke, but his inspiration was strictly inverse!
Really surprised more people haven't answered with Johnny Dawes! His ability to understand movement on rock is astounding, as is his mental strength and stamina. Put up tons of new routes and was clearly at the top of the game in his era, definitely the climber whose skills i'd like to have the most!
After that for me its a tie between Joe Brown and Don Whillians, I have most respect for climbers who just want to climb stuff, no b*llsh*t and less competitiveness!
In reply to BolderLicious: Who inspired me the most (not who was the "best" climber)? - Tom Proctor. Quiet, gentle giant, always friendly and happy to give advice to relative novices like myself. Lovely bloke.
In reply to BolderLicious: Well I climbed on a regular basis with several of them, particularly Ron and Pete, but the most inspiring to me was Joe Brown, AND Joe always seemed to be having fun (so did Ron really, but Pete was apt to be a bit serious). Other personal favourites from the 60's and 70's are Jack Street, Tom Proctor and in the bigger ranges Paul Nunn.
Cunningham was revered by my peers, especially by those that knew him, so by through their tales and marvelling at his skills he was was certainly a strong influence on my climbing direction at that time.
That said I would say that Cubby as been the most constantly inspirational figure for me...watching him efficently move over rock, reading every move with a considered deliberateness and being great bloke with an obvious love of climbing.
In reply to BolderLicious:
Joe Brown, nice, unassuming bloke who burnt off everybody (for several decades) and all without making a song and dance about it. Add to that a legacy of routes that could keep the average climber inspired for yonks
> (In reply to BolderLicious)
> without oxygen when medical experts said it was impossible.
> I never did get the significance of this.
The significace of it is that I don't believe anyone has yet managed to climb alpine style with bottled oxygen. If that were done then I agree it would be no different to all the other stuff in the rucksack. The problem with oxygen is the expedition style it seems to necessitate, not the oxygen itself.
Inspiration is a personal thing and doesn't really have to have anything to do with being the best.
For me the names that come through are Dawes (mainly started from a string of outrageous looking guidebook photos), Dunne (one man against the 'establishment' - whoever that was!) and Tasker (driving to the Himalaya in an old Escort van FFS !).
How do we feel about Dave Birkett being in this list? I grew up in the lakes, and was starting out in the early 90's when there were local names that were doing high numbers on the high mountain crags, and getting not much credit, nor seeking it. Dave Birkett, John Burrell, Stu Wood, Paul Cornforth et al....
To my knowledge, Dave has never taken full sponsorship, has always had full time employment, yet manages to turn out climbs that are of quality (From being an observer, not trying them, obviously!)each and every time.
Combine this with the fact he has done quality boulder problems, sport routes and even winter climbs that are some of the hardest in the UK
Surely Dave has to be up there for inspirational, a regular guy who loves the Mountains, who climbs for the sake of it, not the Sponsorship....