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Joss Lynam - RIP

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Bren Whelan 10 Jan 2011
For those of you who may know Joss Lynam, the well know Irish writer and mountaineer.

He sadly passed away yesterday afternoon in a Dublin hospital.

Details will appear on:



RIP Joss.
In reply to Bren Whelan:

This is such a shock. I was thinking of him only last week, wondering how he was getting on. What a lovely man he was. I remember first meeting him in Dalkey Quarry in 1969. It's as though it was yesterday.

I once joked about him being the father of Irish mountaineering. "The grandfather of Irish mountaineering..." he wryly replied.

Another time he laughed and said that climbing had kept him going for so much longer than he had expected. In return, he gave a great deal back.

Oh, what a loss to us all.


 Tom G 10 Jan 2011
In reply to Bren Whelan:

Grandfather of Irish mountaineering indeed!

Probably the best known name amongst the Irish climbing community.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.
Bren Whelan 10 Jan 2011
In reply to Bren Whelan:


I remember a lovely summer evening, a few years ago, when I'd just finished leading a route in Dalkey. My mate and I sat looking out over Dublin Bay and were comparing our experiences of the 'tricky' crux when Joss's head appeared from the top of the very same route and he muttered "Excuse me..." as he finished his solo and headed off... We were suitably chastened.
 keefe 10 Jan 2011
In reply to Bren Whelan:
Sorry to hear that. Condolences to all the friends and family.

Keefe Murphy
 Padraig 10 Jan 2011
In reply to Bren Whelan:

Sad news indeed. Strangely, although I had heard of Joss and knew him as a "mountain man", the only time I ever met him was once orienteering!
In reply to Bren Whelan:

Joss loved mountains and he loved literature. It seems that his ashes are to be scattered on Knocknarea, in county Sligo.

'The wind has bundled up the clouds high over Knocknarea
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say'

('Red Hanrahan's Song About Ireland' W.B. Yeats)

Joss, you gave so much. You will always be remembered.

In reply to Mick Ward:

I had a very memorable meeting with him, and other members of the Irish Mountaineering Club, on the Twelve Bens in Connemara in July 1976. Having met them on the Twelve Bens I was then invited back to a pub in the idyllic fishing village of Roundstone. Once I'd had too much Guinness and shot my mouth off about various climbing exploits, Joss said, you must come and join us the next day. "You'll have no trouble soloing Carrot Ridge." It was quite a long walk in, and as Ben Corr got closer and closer it looked ever steeper and smoother and more and more enormous and forbidding. (It's over a thousand foot high, I think.) I really started to wonder just what I'd let myself in for. Joss and other IMC stalwarts were leading various novices up it. So I just tucked myself in behind Joss, soloing about ten feet behind him. The crux was on the second pitch, so I just watched exactly what he did and then repeated it. After that it was sheer bliss on perfect rock and I went motoring on ahead. It had a brilliant final pitch up a steepening tower with lots of hidden pockets. I was at the summit in about 20 minutes and then came charging down the screes on the left of the crag to find that Joss and co were still on the third pitch, with at least another four to go ...

I then met up with them again at Dalkey Quarry outside Dublin about a week later. They were certainly one of the friendliest bunches of climbers I've ever met.
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I had exactly the same feeling walking into Ben Corr in 1969! We also did Carrot Ridge and, afterwards, lay in the river in a heatwave watching mates on Seventh Heaven. Joss would have read your ability very well and known that the presence of other people would have lessened the sense of intimidation.

Who knows how many hundreds of other people have had golden days in the hills courtesy of Joss?

In reply to Mick Ward:

Yes, a lovely person. They had a very gentle, very polite manner, very un-English, really, in their welcoming politeness.
Adrian Hendroff 12 Jan 2011
Just a note to inform an online book of condolence has been launched for those who wish to pay tribute and their last respects to the recently deceased Joss Lynam (1924 - 2011): http://ourmemoryof.com/JossLynam/condolences/
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> ... Joss said, you must come and join us the next day. "You'll have no trouble soloing Carrot Ridge."

My UKC profile photo is taken from a stance on Carrot Ridge. A lovely route in lovely country.

T'interweb informs me that It was named the Carrot Ridge by Joss Lynam and Liam Ó Réagain who believed they were completing the first ascent in the 1949. (In fact, they later learned that some Cambridge students had already climbed it in 1933.) Joss asked Liam what the Irish for carrot was, and Liam replied "meacan buí"... Cambridge aside, good on Joss for bringing it to the attention of the rest of us.

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