/ Pat Walsh

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Colin Moody - on 11 Jul 2017
I read that Pat Walsh died recently.

These are a few of the fine routes he put up.

Bludgers Revelation (HVS 5a)

Mainbrace Crack (HVS 5a)

Trophy Crack (E1 5b)

Club Crack (E2 5c)
Mick Ward - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Sad news indeed. An iconic figure.

Allan Austin once wrote that the three best climbers he'd ever seen were Brown, Whillans and Pat Walsh. In his view, Whillans was like him - but better - whereas Brown and Walsh were climbing geniuses. Walsh, in particular, seemed perplexing to him, seemingly able to walk up to virtually any piece of rock and climb it with minimal effort.

That certainly seems to have been the case with the celebrated Walsh's Groove on Cloggy, done in mistake for a pitch on Sheaf! Anyone who has done - or even seen - this unforgettable pitch will realise how mind-boggling it would have been as an unintentional first ascent. Doubtless there was an unfair share of vegetation and loose rock. Heaven alone knows what protection (any?) was available at the time.

Another giant of the climbing world sadly taken from us.

Mick

Michael Gordon - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

>
> That certainly seems to have been the case with the celebrated Walsh's Groove on Cloggy, done in mistake for a pitch on Sheaf!
>

I think a couple of his FAs have historically been put down to extreme short-sightedness, not to mention a formidable ability of course. Nightmare Traverse (1956) on Slime Wall seems to tick both boxes - "Although this climb has had a number of ascents, nobody appears any the wiser as to the exact line, though it is generally regarded as harder than Shibboleth".

Colin Moody - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

I never met him but I worked with folk from Skye (who were about a third of his age) and they commented on how strong he was!
Rick Graham on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Several "Walsh's Blind Variants " around the country.

I think he knew where he was going though on Bloody Crack and Doom Arete, left of Shibboleth, good routes all.

RIP
skelf - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Just a couple of weeks ago my partner dropped his glasses mid climb and it occurred to me at the time that perhaps a Walsh style blind variant was on the cards. Slightly disappointingly he managed to stay on route.

I was also pleased once to let the non climbing nephew of Vin Betts know that his uncle had been thrown out the pub at the Roaches for pissing on the fire at the insistence of Patsy Walsh who had just done the same. Can't remember which book that was in - Dennis Gray maybe?
Cam Forrest on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

Forty years ago I lived in Easter Ross. Pat's wife, also called Pat, worked nearby, and the two of them called in for a cup of tea and a chat one time when Pat was over from Skye.

Fast forward to around fifteen years ago, and I was coming down off Ben A'an at dusk, having had an evening constitutional and a few solos, when I saw this short and somewhat cubic and thoroughly disreputable-looking figure coming up the path, tightly clutching a red can of what I took to be McEwan's Export. Looked like a jakey. I was a bit concerned as it was about to get dark and it would be possible to get into trouble up there on your own if you were pissed. So I paused to have a chat. Said he knew the hill - used to climb on it long ago - knew a wee cave where he could spend the night. Turned out this wee guy had been hitching down from Skye to Clydebank, and the nice lass that was giving him a lift offered to divert from her route to drop him at Ben A'an. Well, he was gasping for a drink, so, as you would, popped into the adjacent hotel. Bit posh, he thought. Tried to buy a drink. Sorry sir, but you need to be a member. (It's now a Holiday Bond property). However, he talked a wee kid into buying him a Coca Cola. Which he was now clutching in his mitts.

Well, by this time the penny was slowly dropping with me. So when he started to move on I said "Take care Pat". He stopped and said "How do you know my name?". I said, well its like this.....

We then started on a series of yarns, with me leading him on. I knew I should have written them when I got home. But I didn't.
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keith-ratcliffe on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:
Am I right in recalling that there was an episode of The Edge that featured him climbing Bludger's?
petestack - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

That was Jimmy Marshall.
markhudsonnet - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

He also almost certainly did the first and only repeat of the 1955 Whillans route on the Old Man of Storr (Trotternish one)
Greenbanks - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Several "Walsh's Blind Variants " around the country<

Not least at Castle Rock - a huge struggle! The guy was hard as nails
JimR - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Colin Moody:

I'm sure I remember an interview with Pat where he said all the stuff about him being shortsighted and blind as a bat was all a bit of hype and the club taking the proverbial. I'd love to find it.. assuming it exists elsewhere other than my imagination.
Cam Forrest on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to JimR:

He is quoted in "Creagh Dhu Climber", the John Cunningham biography, along these lines, in which he refers specifically to Nightmare Traverse and Sheaf.
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to petestack:
Thanks Pete - I eventually found a reference correcting my poor memory.
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