'80s climbing legend Andy Pollitt has died aged 56. Andy was born in Prestatyn, Wales, in 1963 and went on to pioneer some of the hardest sport and trad routes of the 80s and 90s in Wales and beyond, eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia.
Sad news, RIP Andy.
Really sad news... he was an amazing climbing talent in his youth with a really impressive autobiography and more recently a consistently interesting and thoughtful UKC contributor.
Some other thread links..
Really nice guy when I met him at a party in Australia. He was really interested to hear all about our climbing and suggested lots of great routes for us to try.
That's so sad, I always hoped I might meet Andy again.
Sad news , his book was amazing !
Tremendous loss of a great character
I'm quite stunned. I never knew him, but I feel as if I did through his involvement on this forum. A sad loss.
I am really shocked to the hear the news this morning about Andy.
I first met Andy at Gogarth North Stack in the company of Paul Craven in 1983 where we watched him and John Redhead climb a new route on the North Stack wall. Andy was always a true inspiration to me as a young climber, as he was one of the only top climbers operating across both trad and sport climbing at a high level whilst uncovering fantastic new routes in the process. I didn't know Andy well personally but his routes and ethos played a huge part in shaping my outlook on climbing especially the early black and white shots of Craig Y Forwyn and the classic shots on Strawberries and North Stack Wall. His outstanding routes will clearly stand as a testament to him.
Very sad, a massive icon of my early climbing days.
So sad. I was fortunate enough to meet Andy in the early '80s, a lovely guy, fun to be around and supportive of folks like myself climbing at a lower standard than him. I read his recent contributions to this site with interest. He will be missed.
Very sad news. First met & climbed with Andi when he was about 17 & later as a housemate in 84 Hunter house road. One of the few really bold climbers I have known thro the years. Remember him turning up at buoux with packets of his favourite choccie biscuits & boxing mags!!! He had recently made contact again & we spoke on the phone 3 or 4 times reminiscing & catching up. A great loss.
Gutted just gutted
RIP Andy you were a genuine legend
Saddened - he was "after my time" or "before my time" depending on how I look at time, but his contributions on here were always engaging with a wry sense of humour. I'd have liked to have met him and his absence will be felt on here (and I'm sure elsewhere). I loved how he just decisively one day stopped climbing (no fading away stuff!) but then re-engaged to give us the benefit of his experience.
His company's website gives a flavour of what he was up to - https://www.apiinternational.com.au
Impressive. RIP, youth.
Shocked to hear this news. I barely knew him, but he left a big impression. When we lived opposite Eric’s cafe at Tremadog, he was an unmistakeable presence with his Union Jack hat and loud running commentary as he attempted some desperate route. Only 17 and already a contender. Bless him.
He was dossing in the barn and flat bloke. Shan, feeling maternal, made him a meal, and then I, feeling paternal, took him for drink at the local. Though bold and brash in many ways, he was also approachable and considerate even at that age. Almost the young man you’d want your daughter to marry.
On the one route we climbed together (after a photo shoot at Craig y Forwyn – he was canny at self-promotion), he hardly bothered to place protection, romping up in a couple of minutes then coaxing me up on an embarrassingly tight rope. At the top, there was no hint of condescension. He was just happy to share his joy of being on the rock.
As with several people on UKC, he briefly reconnected via correspondence from Australia, and almost 40 years later that same generosity of spirit shone through. Bless him.
Shit - that's not good news
Just finished his great book as well
Same age as me...
Met him once when I worked at the Derby Mountain Centre. Nice bloke. A real inspiration.
Total inspiration for me as a young (ish) climber in the 90's; he was the epitome of a rock star. The Glen Robbins photo of Andy on Punks in the Gym has got to be one of THE iconic climbing shots ever.
Oh no, that is just too young ...... had the privilege to climb with Andy in the mid-80's and he was always inspirational with his incredible talent, disregard for diet fads, love of Bob Dylan, patience with a punter (me), fondness for a beer or two and general 'live for the moment' attitude.
Many happy memories are coming back to me on a sad day ... thank you Andy and RIP.
As others have said his book is really good - probably the best of that genre. Read it about a year ago. Very sad news and a great loss.
Really sad and shocked to read this. Really enjoyed listening to his reminiscing and general banter on here. Similar quality to Al Evans' stories on here which are also sadly missed.
Shocked and saddened. Really enjoyed his book and all his recent posts. It takes me back to the early 80s when we were both being 'looked after' by Mike and Elaine Owen. One particular memory is of us scrounging a lift to Tremadog where he pissed up an early ascent of Psyche n Burn and then warmed down on Bananas! I was too in awe to attempt to lead anything. RIP
Very sad and, as many other have said a contemporary icon for me in the 80's.
One daft memory is sitting in the Stoney Cafe, leafing though a mag with a mate and commenting on one of his photo's along the line of 'Who does he think he is eh?' ,looked up and there he was opposite us giving us a no 1 glower over his pint of tea!
Very sad to hear this. A real inspiration and lovely guy. Made contact with him a few years ago to say he borrowed some slings of me as I was half way up Cemetery Gates so he could continue up Right Wall on a damp day March 82. Probably 35 years ago but he remembered after checking his logbooks and thanked me! I will treasure his book even more now.
Didn’t know him though of course knew of him, but from posts on here and everything you ever heard he came over as a very sweet guy. RIP.
Sad news indeed. I installed access systems for a couple of years for Andy in Melbourne. Really nice guy.
I think we gave him a lift back to Sheffield that day! One of the few occasions I met him but all positive, as we were wide-eyed schoolboys just starting out. Really worth reading his book and Revelations to remind us all how revolutionary things were.
Shocked. I recall bumping into a teenage Andy at High Rocks when he and his mate Jerry laybacked all the way up Coronation Crack cos they could'nt jam, then bumping into him again a bit later at Curbar when he was soloing around doing things like Apollo. Much too young to go.
A true climbing rockstar!
Very sad news. I contacted Andy via UKC earlier this year, not long after I had moved to Melbourne, enquiring about where I could obtain a copy of his book. We exchanged a number of emails and he later invited me over to his house with his friend Charlie who I knew from the local bouldering wall. We hung out and chatted about life and climbing and he showed me a number of old climbing photos. He struck me as a warm, kind, genuine and good natured bloke and I felt touched that he had invited me over when I had not long moved to Melbourne and didn’t have many local connections.
RIP to a true rock star
Such sad news. I have only recently finished reading his masterful autobiography. Remember so clearly his ascents back in the eighties here in the UK and especially in the Peak as if it were only yesterday.
I don't recall the year, but I'll never forget glimpsing Andy through the steamed up windows of Pete's whilst on summer holiday in Wales, as a young (awkward) teenager. Having explained to my little brother who I'd seen ('It's Andy Pollitt! He's on them pictures on us bedroom wall') we skulked in the drizzle for the next hour or so, me hoping for another glimpse of my hero. Thankfully, the sun came out, dried us off, as Andy and his entourage skated off down a side street, into a van, and headed for Vivian(?). Seizing the opportunity of seeing Andy in action, Tim and I sprinted off in pursuit, down to the lake, where we hired a rowing boat and rowed like hell to the other side. We ditched the tiny vessel and pegged it up to the quarry, arriving just in time to see Andy, flourescent and semi-naked against dark walls, swarm up and take a huge lob from Kleinian Envy, much to the horror of an assembled coach party of OAPs gathered with us on the viewing platform.
I've just been sent the following link by Ben Moon, who is - amongst others - organising a memorial service for Andy Pollitt on Sunday 1st December, 5pm at The Mowbray in Sheffield.
They've created a FB group to get an idea of numbers, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/572354223528865/
Not climbing, but my mate Sue dressed herself up to the nines when she found out that the ‘fit bloke in the climbing magazines’ was a regular at our house parties in the mid ‘80s. Problem for Sue was that every available female had joined a ring of steel around Andy, which Sue failed to get through. Unfortunately for Sue this was the case at all the subsequent parties she came to. 😄
My then Mrs used to look forward to new climbing magazines arriving with pictures of Andy's lycra clad buns on the cover
Nice link. Sean, I think, as in Myles, not Shaun.
An obituary has just appeared on the Daily Telegraph's website:
(You might need to register to read it, but doing so is free.)
Shortly after Angus Kille's fourth ascent of Mission Impossible E9 7a at Gallt Yr Ogof, Ogwen Valley, Hazel Findlay followed suit and ticked the line.