/ Finding information - Snowdonia first ascents

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Rockstoater 11 Jun 2019

Hi folks,

Just joined the site today and hoping someone can help me with a query.

My late father-in-law (DWG Little) was an avid climber and I was always led to believe that he'd completed some first ascents in Snowdonia.

Now my son is beginning to climb too I would love to find out which these were - so he can literally follow in his grandfather's footsteps!

Is it possible to find out that first ascent information from climbing databases, either on this site or elsewhere?

Or does anyone here have access to a searchable list like that who could look him up for me?

All advice and help very warmly and gratefully received!

Thanks all,


Simon Caldwell 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

This link includes a first ascent by D. Little and M. Boysen. Could this be the same man?


Ian Parsons 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

A couple more routes with Boysen:

- Aardvark on Gist Ddu [Arans]; 25 Sept 1966 [and A Williams].

- Black Pillar on Craig y Coe [Rhinogs]; July 1973.

Fruit 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:


 The Climbers Club put a huge amount of effort into producing definitive guide books with extensive historical info sections.

Sean Kelly 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Interestingly at the rear of this journal are a couple of routes by a certain K McCallum!

mikej 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

- Black Maria in Ogwen, with M Boysen and A Williams on the 25 April 1965

- Plexus Buttress Girdle in the Llanberis Pass, with M Boysen on the 1 May 1965.

Myfyr Tomos 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

Dave Little from Manchester way? Member of the Black and Tans Club, with Eddie Birch on NE Spur of Les Droites late 60s early70s. Several new routes with Boysen.

Rockstoater 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Timescale looks perfect Simon. Although Little is not an extremely uncommon name, so it's not absolutely guaranteed to be him, Doug was definitely climbing there very regularly in the mid-sixties and that all seems to fit really well. Thank you so much!

How did you manage to find that, and is there any way of me doing similar research myself?

Extremely grateful for the effort and info, and apologies for the slow reply I hadn't realised anyone had posted on this thread yet!

Rockstoater 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Ian Parsons:

Brilliant Ian, thank you do much (and sorry for the slow reply to you too) - that will mean a lot. Again, how did you manage to find this info so fast - is there any way I can do similar? Any publications to buy, or databases to subscribe to? I'm very very grateful for the help and info so far. I didn't expect to strike gold so quickly! Thank you!

Rockstoater 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Myfyr Tomos:

Great bit of research Myfyr, thank you. Looks as if there may have been more than one D Little on the crags at those times then, as Derrick WG Little was from Lincolnshire (though he was known as Doug on those expeditions, then for the rest of his life.  That's because there was already a Derek in his climbing group and pronouncing DWG in Welsh is near enough to the name Doug when anglicised!)

So it's going to be hard to be sure about which of those climbs can be attributed to who I guess? If the format is always just initial and surname. But if I can get my son up them all over time, then the chances are high he'll have covered some of the same ground at some point!

Many many thanks for the speedy and thorough research, it's great to have so much knowledge on the case.

Rockstoater 13 Jun 2019
In reply to mikej:

Mike, timescales look perfect for this too! Thank you so much. How on earth did you get to that info so soon? Apologies for slow reply, I didn't think to check back into the site again so quickly as I couldn't believe so many of you could have been so helpful in so short a space of time! Extremely grateful for the info, thank you.

Mark Kemball 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

Martin Boysen has written an autobiograhy (I've not read it but the reviews are good). There may well be more info in that, possibly even photos. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hanging-Inside-British-Climbings-Golden/dp/1910240001/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=aw_cr_t_books 

Simon Caldwell 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

I just did a Google search on

"D Little" rock climber uk first ascent

mikej 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

At the time I had a few minutes to spare so I checked through the first ascent details in all of my old Snowdonia Climbing Guide Books, plus Gogarth, and found the two climbs that I listed.

I have now just checked the first ascent details in my old Central Wales and Dolgellau Climbing Guide Books and found the 2 climbs listed by Ian Parsons. However there is one more climb to add, namely:-

- Quartz Buttress in the Cowarch Area, with A Nicholls and A Rhodes on the 24 Sept 1966.

That was the day before Aardvark was climbed.

Rockstoater 15 Jun 2019

Superstar, thank you very much indeed!

Mike505 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Rockstoater:

Did your farther-in-law stay Lincolnshire based? I only ask because Lincoln Mountaineering club was started in 1958/9 and may have some info on him, if he was involved with them at some point.

Martin Bennett 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

I'm guessing that would be Dave Little who's not yet 'late'.

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