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NEW ARTICLE: Climbing with Sir Ran by Kenton Cool

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"He has the common sense of a kitchen table and the climbing skill of an elephant... BUT he is awesome!"

"In Chamonix, we once climbed a thin ice smear maybe five inches wide. While Ran was on it, he shattered all the ice... which gave way on him, and he fell"

"Ran Fiennes has remained one of my heroes. I've heard so many people slag him off, and put him down - dismissing his achievements as non events, but to me he is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and I'm very proud to have climbed with him."


IFMGA Guide, Piolet d'Or Nominee and all round good bloke, Kenton Cool recounts his experiences of climbing with Sir Ranulph Fiennes in the first half of this two part article series.

Part Two Coming Soon

Read More: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=764
 Glyn Jones 03 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: Nice.
In reply to Glyn Jones: I thought so too. A really good personal account.

Thanks Kenton - excellent stuff. Can't wait for Part 2 - The Eiger.

Jack
 Guy 03 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: Really enjoyed that, thanks.
 Sean Kelly 03 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: I really enjoyed Kenton's article. It really does give an interesting insight into someone (Fiennes)who really doesn't have to explain himself. His record does that. I just can't understand this put-down society that negates any positive achievment, that is aside from all the fund-raising.
 blueshound 03 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

I wonder if Kenton would speak in such glowing terms if it had been just another client who turned out to be such a feckless climber.
 jl100 03 Jan 2008
In reply to blueshound: I doubt he write an article on someone no one had ever heard off, that would be a bit silly. Also at least hes not an arrogant no it all, im sure guides much prefer someone willing to listen rather than always asking why to everthing they say.

Really like the article btw thanks for that. Im not sure if not having victorianesk explorers is a bad thing though theres only so many poles you can claim, deserts you can cross or mountains to climb for nationalistic glory before the public gets a bit bored. im not having a go at Ranulph as his charity works great but the age of British adventures wasn't a great one for Britain as the money to finance it was gained from the slave trade and exploitation of the working class its hardly some golden age we should wish to return too.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Great article.
In reply to JoeL 90:
> (In reply to blueshound) I doubt he write an article on someone no one had ever heard off, that would be a bit silly. Also at least hes not an arrogant no it all, im sure guides much prefer someone willing to listen rather than always asking why to everthing they say.
>
> the age of British adventures wasn't a great one for Britain as the money to finance it was gained from the slave trade and exploitation of the working class its hardly some golden age we should wish to return too.

Your argument has not a shred of logic. Our history was not the fault of the climbing adventurers, any more than the fact that the affluent life style you now enjoy, which springs directly from our imperial history, is your fault. Many of those Victorian Alpinists were very liberal-minded people - far ahead of their time - and would have felt as strongly as you do about our earlier slave trade. What is more, they brought a very lucrative trade to their guides, whose lives they changed utterly as a result. The famous Victorian client/guide teams represented a remarkably modern, almost classless attitude to climbing. Mummery and Burgener, Whymper and Croz etc. climbed as equals, treated each other as equals. The Taugwalders in Zermatt today are probably multi-millionaires. Look at our history, and see just how much we helped such guiding families with our early enthusiasm for Alpinism.
 jl100 03 Jan 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: I wasn't having a go at the individuals more the nationalistic, arrogant beleif that Britain is great and therefore everest and the poles etc were hers to conquer. This view was responsible for the publicity these ascents got rather like the ascents of mountains by Alpinists funded by the nazis and russians after ww2. Although the individuals were obviously in it for the right reasons the culture that enabled them to do it wasn't so great. the whole slavery, using of working class etc probably went a bit far - sorry.
Anyway a very good article.
ta
Joe
 blueshound 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> The famous Victorian client/guide teams represented a remarkably modern, almost classless attitude to climbing. Mummery and Burgener, Whymper and Croz etc. climbed as equals, treated each other as equals.

But that began, and ended on the hill. Look at Collie and Mackenzie.
 Postmanpat 04 Jan 2008
In reply to JoeL 90:
> (In reply to blueshound) I doubt he write an article on someone no one had ever heard off, that would be a bit silly. Also at least hes not an arrogant no it all, im sure guides much prefer someone willing to listen rather than always asking why to everthing they say.
>
>
Which raises the interesting question of whether the inability to spell or punctuate is linked to an inability to think.

Slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1807.The Golden Age of Alpinsim was 50 years later. To make a direct connection between the two seems stretching things at the very least. Slavery no doubt contributed dramatically to the wealth of some people and some parts of the UK but by the mid Victorian era one would think it was of relatively little importance.

One could of course dismiss the industrial revolution as purely a nasty case of exploitation which negates all the benefits which arose from it (is this what they teach in schools nowadays in place of the ability to write a clear sentence? )-including our health system,our transport system,our communications system and our leisure pursuits or we could realise that things are a bit more complex than that.

Curiously ,if you read more about the Empire you would discover that much of the exploration was done to further the goals of introducing Christian values and undermining slavery cf.Livingstone. I'd be interested how you would demonstrate that Erjest Shackleton and John Hunt were actually closet Nazis



 fxceltic 04 Jan 2008
In reply to JoeL 90:

I cant believe anyone would dismiss his achievements as "non-events", what utter nonsense. Im currently reading his latest autobiography, and what he has achieved has been incredible.
 Simon Caldwell 04 Jan 2008
In reply to JoeL 90:
> Although the individuals were obviously in it for the right reasons the culture that enabled them to do it wasn't so great

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
In reply to Everyone:

It looks like the article is going down well then:

"Nice" - Glyn Jones

"Really enjoyed that, thanks" - Guy

"I really enjoyed Kenton's article" - Sean Kelly

"Really like the article btw thanks for that" - JoeL 90

"Great article" - Gordon Stainforth

It's really great when we get high quality material - a big thank you to Kenton for submitting it.

(Yes - I'm shamelessly bigging it up - but that's my job!!)

Jack
 Postmanpat 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Yes,it's a good article.
 Glyn Jones 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: You know, this article is a bit like Heroes or Lost.

You leave us in a weak position because we are left waiting with baited breath for part 2.

Any idea when?

In reply to Glyn Jones: Very Soon... and it's great too!

I'll post on this thread when we're sure which day it will be live.
 Toby S 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Enjoyed that article. Hurry up with part 2 :0)
george yardley 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor: I have just read mad,bad and dangerous by Ran fiennes and really enjoyed it.I think Ran is the sort of bloke that you are only ever going to have a good time with regardless of what the situation is, just like Kenton an all round good bloke.keep up the good work Kenton with the article looking forward to the next installment,

Craig Yardley.
In reply to george yardley:
I enjoyed the article too. It echoed my own experience of climbing with Ran on one wet day on Dartmoor. He fell loads but would never give up.
 Simon K 04 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Thanks Mr Cool

Top stuff.

From 'Beyond the Limits' by the great man himself:

"Whenever feasible, pick your team on character, not skill. You can teach skills. You can't alter characters."
In reply to everyone: FYI: It shouldn't be too long before Part II comes out. Some photo's need processing and the HTML needs sorting, but the wheels are turning slowly in the back of UKC.

I'll keep you informed when we get closer to being ready.

In the mean time - Part 1: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=764

Cheers,

Jack
 jobertalot 07 Jan 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Excellent article - I started to suspect that Ran wasn't fully clued up on the finer points of alpinism whilst watching a clip of him on the Eiger: Seconding a pitch and nearing the belay, he started hacking and sawing with his axe at anything he thought would aid progress... in this case the equalised slings supporting the anchor!

 Martin W 09 Jan 2008
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1807.

Not true. The slave trade was made illegal throughout the Empire in 1807, but after the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 it was still legal to hold slaves in British colonies. (Slavery was ruled to have no legal standing in England in 1772, in a judgement by Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench. A similar ruling was handed down in Scotland in 1776.) The Slavery Abolition Act which outlawed slavery throughout the Empire was not passed until 1833.

I'm surprised they didn't teach you that at school, along with the difference between "cf" and "eg".
SI A 01 Feb 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Assistant Editor:

Cool. A nice bit of hero worship from a bit of a hero.

Refreshing for the public face of a worldclass climber to be so normal.


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