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Joe Brown repeating The Right Unconquerable, Stanage, 47 years after making the first...
© Gordon Stainforth, Sep 1996
Camera used: Fuji GA645
5*VOTING: number of votes 394
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This took a lot of setting up, because Joe really doesn't like publicity much. Also, he'd sprained his shoulder. Basically he said he would ring me, if and when he felt he could do it. I had the whole thing set up for weeks, then suddenly he rang, and said, OK, I'm coming up tomorrow! It was a Saturday morning, all done in great secret. I had breakfast at Outside, and thought, most people here would just love to know what's going to be happening in about two hours time. When he arrived, very fast and quietly, up the side of the Plantation, he said: 'I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do this, Gordon', but the moment he was in this first crux layback position, moving so strongly, I knew it was in the bag. And, as he climbed, this big grin spread across his face.
Gordon Stainforth - 08/Aug/06
A great Story Gordon...... i loved this photo as soon as i saw it in your "The Peak" book. So much so that i copied it (sort of)!!!
Any more books in the pipeline Gordon?
Urgles - 08/Aug/06
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
Charles Arthur - UKC - 13/Aug/06
Which heathenous creature voted this a poor? :oS
Awesome photo Gordon, truly inspiring. Love Joe's big grin.
Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH - 14/Aug/06
pep - 17/Aug/06
In reply to Paul P: actually he's not grinning very much there, is was higher up, the further he got the happier he looked, and he was positively beaming at the top. And started telling me a whole lot of climbing stories while he was belaying, more or less ignoring Claude Davies who seconded it rather slowly. Every few minutes, almost like a piece of punctuation during his storytelling (mostly about some epic on Thor's Cave), he would take in a bit more slack.
Gordon Stainforth - 17/Aug/06
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
Charles Arthur - UKC - 20/Aug/06
Is it the photo peeps are voting for or the person?? This photo, is at best a 3! Sorry!
Padraig - 20/Aug/06
Most people decide whether a photo is a 5, 4, 3, etc based on how much enjoyment they get out of the scene. It would be very dull if it was purely on technical merit. I certainly give this a 5 - yes because of who it is - repeating such a famous climb nearly 50 years on.
The Bantam - 20/Aug/06
In reply to Padraig: A 3? i.e. average? No way! Wonderful richness of colour and sharpness of detail. Even if it wasn't Joe, it would be 5.
Marc C - 21/Aug/06
Padraig - 3? THREE? Shame on you. Maybe because he's not Scottish or in Scotland?? The man is a legend, I'd give it 5 if it was taken on my little sisters mobile phone. Now shut up.
Jonny2vests - 23/Aug/06
Congratulations! This photo was chosen as Photo of the Week, based on votes by registered users over the past 7 days.
Charles Arthur - UKC - 27/Aug/06
Just a phenominal photo. What an inspiration to the rest of us.
pingate - 29/Aug/06
In answer to Pylon King:
Yes, two books in the pipeline, but still no definite contracts. Very close to a deal on the major book I've been working on, very irregularly, for seven years now. This will really be my 'magnum opus' (intellectual rather than photographic, btw)
Also now working on the Lake District episode of a big BBC TV series on Mountains with Griff Rhys Jones.
Gordon Stainforth - 30/Aug/06
What's Griff Rhys-Jones ever done on grit?
A 5, by the way...
BrianT - 07/Sep/06
Just sums up climbing on grit. Awesome picture. Shame on anyone who gives it less than the 5 it deserves!
MartyT - 07/Oct/06
This was the cover sot of the first climbing mag I ever bought, and the first I saw of Joe Brown! Definately gets a 5 for that alone, very nice shot.
sam the man - 12/Apr/07
Never mind the quality, even though it is highly competent. The subject matter is much more important. Joe Brown is a genuine climbing icon. I would love a couple of hours climbing with him.
bremner8 - 12/May/07
What, he placed gear and took cams up? ;-)
Bit of a contrast to the FA picture in the 1989 Stanage Guide, but just as good.
slacky - 02/Apr/08
Yes, the just took a set of Friends (Claude Davies' advice!) and placed about three i.e. far sparser protection than most people use on this route.
Gordon Stainforth - 02/Apr/08
Great picture and the purple top adds to it.
in addition to bremner's comment, i wouldn't mind a couple of hours chatting to him, let alone climbing!
chris fox - 15/Sep/08
Haha the shoes joe is wearing are the same as the centre shoes that we have at the climbing i work at!!
MorganPreece - 17/Jun/09
What a fantastic picture! A living legend.
mcdougal - 13/Apr/10
a photos is a great photo when it tells a great story... this tells an amazing story!
Bloodfire - 07/Dec/10
Gordon , you need to update the info on this one now that it is Joe Brown CBE!
Sean Kelly - 22/Jan/11
Except that would imply that he was a CBE when I took the shot ...
Gordon Stainforth - 22/Jan/11
Quite simply, The Master!
johnstuartross - 13/Dec/11
There is only one thing missing Joe!! Where is the cigarrette??? This is a 5, he is a 10!
xusa - 21/Jan/12
Pure magic to see Joe with that mischevious smile..rock on
Ouncepounce - 02/Aug/12
Awaiting the new Peak Rock book with baited breathe - on my mind for years.... sure Joe "the main man" will feature strongly, and some more shots of him to boot? 6 out of 5 for the pic & the man himself - a true leg end!
Alan Blakeman - 21/Oct/13
No accounting for taste. the Climber great, the Climb great, the colour scheme awfull. So sorry, not a great photo., and Joe will ,no doubt thank me for saying it.
But then again!!!!
bootsie - 19/Aug/15
What a peculiar comment. As if I could do anything about the 'colour scheme'. I didn't have the cheek to tell Joe or Claude what to wear or what harnesses to use - that was how they turned up. And I had no control over the colour of the grass or rock, either. Sorry. For the record I think it's a quite good photo of a special moment with a very special climber - no more. Of course the key point of the shot is Joe's right foot coming towards us at the moment of commitment - and the panache with which he did it, for a man of c.65, was quite astonishing.
Gordon Stainforth - 19/Aug/15
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This picture is copyright. If you want to reproduce or otherwise re-use it, please email the photographer direct via their user profile. Photo added August 08 2006.