Bill Pattison Bill Pattison Onsights Three 6a+'s on his 74th Birthday
Bill Pattison (MBE) of Gosforth, Wasdale (Cumbria) started climbing when he was 17 and he obviously listens to his mum Jeannie who is a sprightly 107. She tells him, "If you don't do it now, you ain't going to get another chance."
Bill, who is now 74, started climbing in 1951 at age 17. He was on an outing with a Methodist Youth Group to the Lake District and was so inspired by the crags of Wasdale he made a solo ascent of Napes Needle, in nailed boots of course. This was his first ever rock climb. Bill was team leader of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team for 22 years and later President, and has climbed all over Europe, the Alps, along with Scotland (twenty two seasons on Skye) and Wales. Professionally he was Director of Nurse Education at West Cumberland Hospital until he retired at 57.
Earlier this year on his birthday, 7th February, Bill belayed by his wife Lynn (aged 55) onsighted three 6a+ sport routes at the Arico Gorge, Tenerife. Bill and Lynn escape the winter rains by spending a couple of months on Tenerife each winter.
But Bill is not just a sport climber, last week he soloed an E2 on Hare Crag, Cumbria.
Bill's recent ascents and life in general is even more impressive when you consider that at age 65 he suffered a heart attack whilst soloing on Wallowbarrow Crag in the Duddon Valley. On his sixth route of the day he felt a tightening of his chest. He climbed to flat ground, layed down and breathed deeply, then drove himself to West Cumberland Hospital for treatment.
Bill's advice for a long and active climbing life, "Listen to your mother".