/ Oldest Old Timer?
Makes my 46 years look a bit feeble, can anyone top it?
You tend to find plenty of coffin-dodgers at the Edge on Friday lunchtimes - average age must be high 70s
Worst thing is they all climb harder than me !
53 years here, so a long way to go.
Martyn Boysen and Alan Hubbard are in the old crocks club for sure -:)
can't beat the old RB Evans' crag diagrams in the Cicercone guides - one A.H. greenbank was author of one or more I believe
Bumped into a (now deceased) Sid Cross soloing Troutdale Pinnacle on one occasion shortly before his death. He must have been late 70's I think
It was Boysen.
I had to change my views on what I would do as I got older. I imagined climbing would tail off and we'd do more walking. But I've formed the view that you're much more likely to carry on climbing than you are to continue walking into old age. Access to bolted climbing (smaller rucsacs!) in warm sunny places and climbing walls to keep you going in the cooler part of the year have transformed the old gits prospects. What we need is cable cars up to Scafell etc.
Someone told me they had met a guide! aged 96 comming up the breithorn in zermatt, bet he had a few years under his belt.
Spent a week cragging with Rustie Baillie last year, walking poles and lighweight gear seems to help but we kept the walk-ins down to an hour and a half out of consideration for my own lack of fitness/bad knee/laziness.
And, even more impressive in its way, here's Joe Brown still chopping bolts!
I met a guy celebrating his 90th with his similar aged wife at the summit of Stob coire nan Lochan in Glen Coe. I was well impressed.
For sure there are plenty of wrinklies still at it. I didn't title the thread too well, I was after anyone who could best Brian's Distinguished Service Record of 61 years.
I think Dave Gregory has been at it 64 years (started 1949 iirc), but can't check at the mo.
You and me are just youngsters Chris - you 46 me 50. But my first new route, Yellow Brick Road in Pembroke just celebrated its 40th birthday on the 21st August!
> You and me are just youngsters Chris - you 46 me 50. But my first new route, Yellow Brick Road in Pembroke just celebrated its 40th birthday on the 21st August!
I hope there are a few more left in the tank!
I haven't even been going quite fifty years yet, but to stray a bit off topic, reading the respondents, it might seem that the long servers in our community are mainly operating at the higher grades (not me though!). I wonder, if this is so, why? Might it be something to do with the resolve needed to climb a long time matches the resolve to climb hard? Even further off the point, I reckon it's a great sport for us old 'uns, being so democratic and inspirational: it keeps us out of the OAP ghetto.
> Even further off the point, I reckon it's a great sport for us old 'uns, being so democratic and inspirational: it keeps us out of the OAP ghetto.
Further to that, Jim, I wonder if there is any other sport/physical activity in which there are so many older participants? Sometimes seems we're in the majority. I'm sure if it's the same elsewhere, though; it's over a decade ago since we were walking along the foot of the crag at Mt Piddington in the Blue Mts looking for our route when some friendly young bloods asked if we "were going for a nice walk?" Didn't cross they're minds we might be climbing!
> Further to that, Jim, I wonder if there is any other sport/physical activity in which there are so many older participants?
Someone at work is a road biking coach.
He says age is not a barrier in that sport and several mid seventies are still doing very respectable time trials.
Guess its quite gentle on the body until you fall off, a bit like rock climbing.
Too much handcream or limestone.
Eastern Grit next weekend?
Or " On the Moors " if we get a heatwave and fancy a spanking?
I hit 56 years of climbing this July.
At my last physical, it was confirmed that I am two inches shorter than I was in my forties. I've thought for a while that the difficulties I've had with long reaches on certain routes were because of a decline in strength, but now it seems that in addition to that decline, I just plain can't reach as far.
Just over 60 years for me, and can still operate in the E grades (preferably with the sun on my back!), but agree totally about climbing walls and fingers, and having a dodgy meccano ankle from various mishaps whilst climbing, I tend to stay away from highball/bad landing bouldering.
I remember the late Mike Banks, who climbed the Old Man of Hoy at a very advanced age, saying that he would know the time had come to give up would be when he looked up at a crag and not feel any desire to climb it. Sadly Alzheimers took that decision away from him prematurely.
When out running I often pass a man - Reg - who must be in his late eighties, who knew Zeke Deacon, Mike Banks and co from their days together as the fine body of men in the CCAW back in the 50s. He walks 6-8 miles every day, in all weathers, without a stick.
I grew up in a climbing sense with these guys: they were an inspiration; in fact I joined the RM Reserve, St Ives detachment in the mid 60s when many of them were still very active on (and off!) the crags.
Reg, Sergeant Reg Savill, is the oldest person to have walked John o'Groats to Land's End, when he was 74, and is now actually only a youthful 85 or so.
I didn't know that; I'm sorry. Met him once, just briefly, seemed a really good guy. Loved 'Commando Climber' - was inspirational in 1967. Did loads of fingertip press-ups, back then. Showed him my knackered fingers. "It was your book!" He guffawed, said to refer any complaints to John Barry's dad, a fellow bootneck of that time.
Wise words. Sometimes, after 47 years, on days out with the young guns, just belaying them on wildly overhanging stuff hurts my body. But I still want to tie on and give it what (little) I've still got.
And she was out doing first ascents on The Stony Banks above Gordale just this week. She's as keen as ever.
Not on the cover but inside. I happened to come across it whilst sorting my attic yesterday. Shall I post it?
There are some fit old b***ers around aren't there!
In all of the runs or sportives I've done; I finish proportionately lower in my age group than overall (hope that makes sense)
I suppose I should still be a bit proud of that
Dave Gregory was my form tutor at school and taught us physics on a number of occaisions throughout school.
Bumbped into him climing at Leeds wall a few years ago he was still going for it.
I am 50 and I often get referred to as "young man", sometimes by people who I know are younger than me.
Good to know Pete's still going strong. Only 68? A mere youth...
P.S. Seem to remember TRL as distinctly uphill, even without a weight belt.
Must have been a while ago; PG would surely be a fair bit older than that now - why, he's older than Dennis Gray!
Good to hear he got back into it, though - he famously gave up at one time, though I think I did hear something about him starting again.
2 yrs ago ish.
Old timers eh?
Must be a different Pete G; for one thing the famous one would have been 79 two years ago, and for another he was dead.
Over 50 years of climbing under my belt and lead a soft touch but scary E2 last week.
John, it is another Pete G. Met him at the Kebs once, then again in Tenerife. Big muscles. Heavily into training. Really good guy. Used to drink with Whillans in Lancs.
I think his son (and grandson?) might also have been called Pete. We called them Big Pete, Little Pete and Littler Pete.
Me and my mates used to refer to him as "heavy duty", as we never knew his name!
Anyone know if John Brailsford is still climbing? First met him when I went to Bangor Normal College 30 years ago about now. He seemed ancient then but I guess he wasn't . Scared me to death at times as well.
Wouldn't PR Littlejohn be still knocking them out at mid-60's
Oh, and is Brian Blessed dead (yet)?
When I lived in the Peak, I sometimes went climbing with Pat Peace from Grindleford, who was probably in his late sixties in the early 1980's. I remember him getting benighted on top of Pillar Rock with several other people about 1990, when he must have been in his mid seventies. They all managed to self rescue the next morning. I don't know if he ever gave up climbing, but he died a couple of years ago in his mid nineties.
Yep. Ninety this year, still climbing, started in the 30s(!), invented dirtbag.
> Me and my mates used to refer to him as "heavy duty"...
Well, I only met him at the Bridestones and Tenerife. But I would think it highly likely. My guess is that Pete had pumped some serious iron. There used to be (and I'm sure, still is) an amazing work ethic in hard core bodybuilding gyms. To somebody with that background, a crag is practically a rest environment!
Nice vid. Heard him talk a few months back, although a little deaf, his mind is super sharp for 90. For an hour and a half, he gave us a whirlwind selection of moments, machine gun delivery. Some of his throw away sentences alone would have been major lifetime achievements to most mortals.
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