John Allen has been tragically killed in a climbing accident at Stoney West. John was climbing with his brother when the accident occurred. An ambulance and mountain rescue were called but there was nothing that could be done.
Such a huge legacy. Rest in peace.
That’s dreadful news. RIP John.
Very sad news.
F*ck 2020 already... RIP John.
Never had the pleasure of meeting John but his routes played a big part of my climbing living in Sheffield ten years ago. Thank you and rest well.
Ugh. Dreadful news. Days after lockdown eased and this happens. The man was a climbing giant. It's a horrible event.
Took a while for that to sink in just then when I read the headline. What a terrible and unexpected bit of news that is! Had the great pleasure of bumping into John at the crag a few times and he was the most chilled out and down to earth person you could hope to meet, still getting out and climbing for the pure pleasure of it. A hero to many grit climbers including me. Upsetting stuff
Stunning, stunning legacy. It cheered me immensely to see his new routes at Moss Rake. Now this.
John, a lovely funny guy, my climbing hero and the Boss of grit, but he would have punched me for saying it. I heard the sirens but didn’t know until now who it was. I’m so sorry RIP.
Sad news indeed.
I never met Jon but the tales and the new routes he put up were a great inspiration to me as a young climber in the early 90's.
Such a funny and kind man. RIP big guy.
Such sad news, one of my heroes
Very sad, a legend.
Didn't know him but I will always remember his quick and witty response at the Peak Rock launch when asked about how he felt about the next generation taking over, to which his reply was along the lines of "I just felt bitter" to much applause.
Another hero gone
> Stunning, stunning legacy. It cheered me immensely to see his new routes at Moss Rake. Now this.
Yes. The last routes I did outside before winter and the lockdown. It was a thrill to be on a John Allen route. A great loss.
Unbelievably sad news, RIP John, condolences to family and friends..
Shocking news, we bumped into him on a walk not long back and chatted for some time, I was oblivious that I was chatting to one of my early inspirations. It was only as the conversation was ending that pennies started dropping. He struck both me and my wife as a lovely bloke. Sad sad news.
Also a thought for my old friends at EMRT who attended.
Terrible news. Rest in Peace
Such bad news, RIP.
A very sad loss, a total legend and a true gentleman. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP John
Very sorry to here that
Oh no. That's awful.
Very sad news
I know that JA will always be associated with the Peak and the hundreds of routes he pioneered especially on gritstone. However for me it was his totally free ascent of Great Wall on Cloggy after so many others had tried. I can recall walking up with American Steve Wunsch & Mo Anthoine on his attempt to free the route circa 1971. JA was criticized by Ken Wilson for his use of chalk but this was just becoming commonplace at the time.
Sad news indeed but his legacy are the climbs he left for the rest of us to enjoy.
What terrible, terrible news.
I've known him since we were teenagers... can't get my head around this.
Condolences to his family.
This is a terrible year. John was another star with no side, he happily chatted with numpties like me. Lived in the same street in Sheffield for a few years. But good to know he was still an active newrouter. Hugs to his family.
Gutted!!! I had the pleasure of meeting him twice and walked away with a massive Smile both times. A proper bloke he was! So sad... Rip JA.
So sad. For those of his generation who grew up alongside him with grit as their passion this is one of those days that the music died. He was such a talented climber but above all an inspiration and wonderful raconteur. There was no one else I would rather talk about 'pockets and pebbles' with than John. RIP
It's really sad news but memories will last a long time for such an oversized character with a legacy of such routes. Condolences to all who knew him well.
Gutted..this has really knocked me back. John was a climbing hero of mine and to climb some of his gritstone routes was a milestone in my climbing career. To climb with him recently was a highlight for me but he'd have laughed at the thought. RIP John
God, how terrible. A legend. RIP, and condolences to the family.
So sad to hear of one of my heroes leaving us. I'd never met him, but will forever remember the 70s Climber and Rambler piece on all the leading lights pushing the new routes scene back then, when Pete Livesey was "Head Boy" in the article's machismo style of the times.
John Allen was introduced with something like "What's this fresh faced youth doing here? Well the fact is that the softly spoken teenager who's the best climber in Britain should probably get more credit..." As a teenager myself back then I was inspired to get on the grit, and soon realised what a legend John was.
RIP John, and many condolences to his family.
Very sad and tragic news so sincere condolences to all of John's family, friends and loved ones.
Haven't seen John for 40-odd years, missed him at the Stoney reunion and now feel awful about that.
I was occasional chauffeur to Allen & Bancroft in the mid-70s and between them they dragged my ability up more grades than I ever imagined possible, allowing me access to some of their best routes, whilst being very encouraging and great company. Not a big man in my day, a willowy youth with hair...
So sorry. So sad.
Terrible news - an absolute legend of gritstone climbing. The author of so many brilliant routes and highball boulder problems.
I remember climbing with Rob Greenwood at Masson Lees and bumping into him. He was climbing in a pair of holey old tights and despite climbing shit chossy routes was loving it and very friendly. Always nice seeing him at the grouse after a day out on the Grit. I’ll be having an extra beer there once it’s open again in remembrance.
I knew John and Chris Addy slightly in the 70’s and one night in the Padarn Lake I arranged to give them a lift home. In the van (Mk1 Escort) we were chatting; “where did you get to?” “Cloggy”. “what did you do?” “Great Wall” “how much aid?” “none!” Follow that I thought, big news in Wales.
RIP, a legend.
Most of the bullshit opined here pales compared to this tragic news. John Allen self proclaimed and proven “gritstone god” R.I.P. I’m not meaning to belittle the problems associated with Covid 19, but this is a climbers website and John was a climber among climbers. The year gets worse.
Absolutely tragic. After so many years climbing, and so big a contribution to British rock climbing, it seems unspeakably cruel for him to be taken now. I only met him a few times (he helped me on my Peak book), but he was such a nice, quiet, unassuming bloke.
Such sad news, RIP.
So very sad. His routes will live on but the world will be just a little colder.
Bad news, indeed.
Oh no that is a tragedy! I feel totally numb.
Will be sadly missed, He will watching down on us like his part in stone monkey while Johnny Dawes does Technical Master...
So f*****g shocked. I was hoping to get together with him when all this crap is over. A total legend and a great guy. So unfair.
So so sad about this
I thought your Jamcrack interview with him was brilliant and revealed so much I did not know. Well worth a listen.
He belayed me on 'Old Friends'. We used his rope that he claimed was 11mm but was so old and furry it must have been 15mm! Cue jokes about climbing on an Ertha Kitt boa.
Also spent a day soloing on Froggatt with him after a particularly tragic personal event. He made every route we did look so effortless, all the while chatting in that calm, dry, yorkshire accent. He managed to coax me in to doing a few routes that I'd never dared previously. Good memories.
So many of his routes are aspirational test-pieces for anyone in to grit climbing. What a legacy. Such a sad loss.
Very sad news.
Another climbing legend gone to the big crag in the sky
This is terribly sad news. My sincerest condolences to John's family and friends. I never met John but, like a lot of climbers I expect, connected to him through his routes and his writing (he did after-all pen the great unrequited love letter to Beau Geste in Extreme Rock). Those grit routes of his from the 70s were superb, but the gems he uncovered in the 80s took the technical challenge that crucial step further, and that little bit higher than before -- never unreasonably dangerous but definitely bold and forceful.
Is there a John Allen ticklist on here? There should be.
Tragique tragique news, still having difficulty comming to terms with it. Condolences to all family and friends. R.I.P John, you were a great person.
> Is there a John Allen ticklist on here? There should be.
Beat me to it! It wouldn't be easy though.
Really sad news - I never met him but from what I’ve seen he was a great person.
In terms of a ticklish there is this one:
....the catch being that the routes are all in New Zealand.
Very sad news. Condolences to his family and friends.
Brings back memories of articles in Mountain where John Allen and was it the American Tobin Sornenson hit Arapilies and ticked lots of the top end hard routes for the time.
Last night I dug out my Extreme Rock and reread his writing on Beau geste etc. Got my 20 year old daughter who has just started climbing to read it as well.
An incredibly sad loss for those of us who started climbing from that period especially on Grit.
And of all places Stoney West.
There is a tick list in Excel format, I think Mr James of this parish has a copy. I can’t remember where mine is, but it’s a project of mine to at least the boulder able ones. Not easy.
Awful news, condolences to his family and friends.
I only met John once over 40 years ago in The Moon when he might still have been underage. I also remember seeing him climb an E2 at Stanage a few years ago when he wasn't in his thinnest state. I couldn't believe someone of that "size" could float up so effortlessly like that until I realised who it was.
I can't believe how shocked I am by this news, so I really do commiserate with those who had real connections with him.
One of my favourite conversations from about 5 years ago, there are plenty of others in the same vein ....
"Al! I've got something important to tell you!"
"I've just been to see this bloke who had a beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo for sale, great condition, low mileage. And guess what the best part is? He only wanted £132,000 for it. Well! I snapped his hand off!"
All this from a man who's standing there in a t-shirt with a neck so stretched we could get both our heads through it at once, and a pair of baggy black tracksuit bottoms that he looks as though he's used to clean the oven, then held them up and thought 'plenty good enough to go to the crag in". How could you not love this man?
An absolute tragedy - Sheffield, & everywhere, has lost a true legend. The news will shock many once it spreads - RIP John!
Here's a start c/o UKC:
Reticent Mass Murderer (Cratcliffe Tor); Liquid Assets (Cratcliffe Tor); Requiem (Cratcliffe Tor); The Children's House (Cratcliffe Tor); Saville Street (Millstone Edge); Embankment 1 (Millstone Edge); London Wall (Millstone Edge); Coventry Street (Millstone Edge); Moon Walk (Curbar Edge); Moon Crack (Curbar Edge); Mr Softee (Curbar Edge); Soyuz (Curbar Edge); Forbidden Planet (Curbar Edge); Fidget (Curbar Edge); El Vino Collapso (Curbar Edge); Portrait of a Legend (Curbar Edge); Predator (Curbar Edge); Profit of Doom (Curbar Edge); White Noise F.M. (Curbar Edge); Strapadictomy (Froggatt Edge); Sundowner (Froggatt Edge); The Gully Joke (Froggatt Edge); Ratbag (Froggatt Edge); Four Pebble Slab (Froggatt Edge); Hairless Heart (Froggatt Edge); Artless (Froggatt Edge); Roman Orgy (Froggatt Edge); Debut Wall (Froggatt Edge); Debutante (Froggatt Edge); Stealing the Misanthrope's Purse (Froggatt Edge); Reverse Disco (Froggatt Edge); Fame at Last (Froggatt Edge); Artless/Hairless Heart (Froggatt Edge); Black Finger (Wharncliffe Crags); Helping Hand (Wharncliffe Crags); Cardinal's Treasure (Wharncliffe Crags); Moontan (Rivelin Edge); Only Human (Rivelin Edge); The Terminator (Rivelin Edge); Party Animal (Rivelin Edge); Europe After Rain (Rivelin Edge); Small Time (Rivelin Edge); Regular Route (Rivelin Edge); New Mediterranean (Rivelin Edge); Moolah (Rivelin Edge); The Caress of the Blubbery Hand (Rivelin Edge); Interminable Drizzle (Rivelin Edge); Garibaldi Twins (Rivelin Edge); Benberry Wall (Bamford Edge); M35 (A35) (Bamford Edge); Bamford Rib (Bamford Edge); Ontos (Bamford Edge); Trouble with Lichen (Bamford Edge); Small is Beautiful (Burbage North); Happily Ever After (Burbage North); Now or Never (Burbage North); Ai No Corrida (Burbage North); The Sphinx (Burbage North); Ring My Bell (Burbage North); Gymnipodies (Burbage North); Boggart (Burbage South Edge); The Knock (Burbage South Edge); The Knack (Burbage South Edge); Unfinished Symphony (Burbage South Edge); Pebble Mill (Burbage South Edge); We Ain't Gonna Pay No Toll (Burbage South Edge); Dork Child (Burbage South Edge); Above and Beyond the Kinaesthetic Barrier (Burbage South Edge); Suspense (Lawrencefield); Bastard Cut/Prince's Dustbin (Higgar Tor); Laze (Higgar Tor); Dead Eye (Birchen Edge); Naughty Nauticals (Birchen Edge); Gritstone Megamix (Birchen Edge); Sleeping Sickness (Gardom's Edge); The Igloo (Gardom's Edge); Spanish Fly (Gardom's Edge); Agadoo (Gardom's Edge); Vibrio Direct (Chatsworth Edge); A Day at the Prom (Black Rocks); The Indirect Start (Black Rocks); Our Kid (Black Rocks); Shredded Feet (Black Rocks); Golden Days (Black Rocks); Vikings in a Sea of Sweat (Black Rocks); Chip Shop Brawl (Stanage North); Good Clean Fun (Stanage North); The Lamia (Stanage North); Harvest (Stanage North); Nectar (Stanage North); Orang-outang (Stanage North); Deuteronomy (Stanage North); Old Friends (Stanage North); New York, New York (Stanage North); Bad Do (Stanage North); So Many Classics, So Little Time (Stanage North); Concept of Kinky (Stanage North); Gameo (Stanage North); Count Me Out (Stanage Plantation); Shirley's Shining Temple (Stanage Plantation); The Trickledown Fairy (Stanage Plantation); Smash Your Glasses (Stanage Plantation); White Wand (Stanage Plantation); Breadline (Stanage Plantation); Not to be Taken Away (Stanage Plantation); Grace and Danger (Stanage Plantation); Indian Summer (Stanage Plantation); Tower Face Indirect (Stanage Plantation); Scuppered (Stanage Plantation); Miserable Miracle (Stanage Plantation); Skidoo (Stanage Plantation); Punishment (Stanage Plantation); Walking the Whippet (Stanage Plantation); Pegasus Rib (Stanage Plantation); Boys Will Be Boys (Stanage Plantation); Direct Loss (Stanage Plantation); Mounting Frustration (Stanage Plantation); Pretty Petty (Stanage Plantation); Mitch Pitch (Stanage Plantation); Blue Fluff (Stanage Plantation); Guillotine Direct (Stanage Popular); The Guillotine (Stanage Popular); The Old Dragon (Stanage Popular); Stanleyville (Stanage Popular); Cave Eliminate (Stanage Popular); Constipation (Stanage Popular); Pacific Ocean Wall (Stanage Popular); Rubber Band (Stanage Popular); Cold Turkey (Stanage Popular); Ice Boat (Stanage Popular); Wall of Sound (Stanage Popular); Black Hawk Bastion (Stanage Popular); Stanage Without Oxygen (Stanage Popular); Traverse of the Gritstone Gods (Stanage Popular); Leyroy Slips a Disc (Stanage Popular); Not Much Weak Stack Battered or What? (Stanage Popular); Body Roll Finish (Stanage Popular); Pacific Ocean Wall Direct (Stanage Popular); Licence to Lust (Roaches Lower Tier); Commander Energy (Roaches Lower Tier); Body Popp (Ramshaw Rocks); Rock Trivia (Ramshaw Rocks); Maximum Hype (Ramshaw Rocks); The Ultra Direct (Ramshaw Rocks); Night of Lust (Ramshaw Rocks); Foord's Folly (Ramshaw Rocks); Night Owl (High Tor); Castellan (High Tor); The Arête (Tintwistle Knarr); The Big Wall (Shining Clough); Blasphemy (Wimberry Rocks); Halina (Wimberry Rocks); Kremlin Wall (Standing Stones); Kurt B. Gurt (Wildcat); Morose Mongoose (Brimham Rocks); Amazing Grace (Caley Crags); Roscoe's Wall/Round Table (Roaches Upper Tier); Round Table (Roaches Upper Tier); Drop Acid (Roaches Skyline); Safety Net (Roaches Skyline); Art of Silence (Carl Wark); Six Pack (Carl Wark); Lost World (Carl Wark); Anthrax (Hen Cloud); The Better End (Hen Cloud); Caricature (Hen Cloud); Starlight and Storm (Hen Cloud); Valley of Ultravixens (Newstones and Baldstones); Ponsified (Newstones and Baldstones); Humpty & Dumpty (Stanton Moor); Backy Scratchy (Stanton Moor); Umbongo (Turningstone Edge); Grizzly Arête (Robin Hood's Stride); Crazy Paving (Harpur Hill Quarry); Long Wall Eliminate (Den Lane Quarry); Burssola (Burbage South Quarries); Silent Spring (Burbage South Quarries); Monks of Monserrat plc (White Tor); Altar (Otepatotu); Crapbreech Revisited (The Tors); Knobbly Knee Parade (Stoney Wood); Goddard's Corner (Goddard's Quarry); Boy Better Know (Goddard's Quarry); Your Future Our Clutter (Goddard's Quarry); Sunhoney (Goddard's Quarry); In the Night (Mt Pleasant); Dead Mens Boots (Darlton Quarry); Head on a Pole (Darlton Quarry); Born to Act Daft (Darlton Quarry); Odd-bod Junior (Hidden Quarry (formerly Darlton 2)); The Wasteland (Gibraltar Rock); The Jesus Lizard (Endcliffe Quarry); Unsane (Endcliffe Quarry); Cherubs (Endcliffe Quarry); Converge (Endcliffe Quarry); KEN Mode (Endcliffe Quarry); Promotion Day (Moss Rake); Chris Wilder (Moss Rake); Chris Wild (Moss Rake); Golden Parachute (Moss Rake); The Limit Club (Moss Rake); Kashmir Curry Centre (Moss Rake); Footsie 100 (Moss Rake); Raven Rib (The Ravenstones)
Where is Castellan on High Tor.
And Great Wall on Cloggy?
Brilliant. I can make a start on that manually later ...unless UKC can automate adding something?
"Here's a start"
...; Castellan (High Tor); ...
Great Wall was FFA not a FA and UKC does not list FA details for that route. Feel free to add.
I just wanted to highlight the sheer volume (and quality) of JA's legacy
Brilliant start. I began putting something together based on your list before UKC Paul offered to try and automate something ...thanks Paul! The sheer quality and depth is stunning.
Wow and wow! What a legacy!
That is an absolutely amazing list of routes, what a legacy from John.
I was hoping some wag would pipe up ‘what’s he ever done on grit’
The quality and number of those routes is staggering.
What a stunning collection of f.a's . John really was an outstanding climber. A lot of those routes done without the help of modern gear. He will be missed by friends and family but his name will live on with the hard grit routes he left for us mortals to struggle on.
As an 1986 stanage desciple, with a grit only mentality he was an god
I think they did more damage at Frog Buttress
> I was hoping some wag would pipe up ‘what’s he ever done on grit’
I'm not sure a footballers wife or girlfriend would be particularly interested in anything to do with grit other than skin gritting.
Man there are a lot more he did here ... a few
Castle Hill -
The Day the World Stood Still, 24
Mental Block 24
Uncompromising Vulture 22
Passion Play 23
Wall of Shame 23
Tales of Machismo 24
Freakeys Wall 22
A Day in the life of Jim Collins 22
the list goes on
John was a hero to very many people who visit UK Climbing. Pity that this news seems to have taken second billing on UKC to various other random and much less worthy headlines.
Some of you may have missed this excellent interview with John Allen on Grimer's podcast from about 4 years ago. It is probably my favourite in the series, all easy going storytelling and hilarity.
Particularly poignant at the start in light of this bad news...
Gutted. I fortunately got to know John and climbed with him a bit in the Peak and in the States early 90's, we did Quicksilver and a few other routes and had a laugh watching 2 friends climb the Nose from the luxury of the meadows. I also worked with John doing roped access for High Rise; he was always extremely funny and had a great wit. In recent years I would pop down to his office on Ecclesall Rd and catch up with his latest routes at Moss Rake etc. I never met anyone with such a drive and love for climbing whatever the grade. My condolences to John's family and his close circle of friends.
> Man there are a lot more he did here ... a few
> Castle Hill -
> The Day the World Stood Still, 24
> Mental Block 24
> Castle Rock:
> Uncompromising Vulture 22
> Passion Play 23
> Wall of Shame 23
> Tales of Machismo 24
> Freakeys Wall 22
> Altar 21
> Whanganui Bay
> A Day in the life of Jim Collins 22
> the list goes on
And a route on Aoraki - that would be a bit of a stopper on the ticklist !
> Some of you may have missed this excellent interview with John Allen on Grimer's podcast from about 4 years ago. It is probably my favourite in the series, all easy going storytelling and hilarity.
I listened to that the other day. I had always wondered what the story was behind John Allen going to New Zealand in the first place.
It is incredible to realise that, of the stellar list of grit routes which John Allen put up, many were done in his teens. What a talent, and what a legacy.
If you put his name into the archive a lot of things will pop up
'I'm much better than people understand. I'm a much better climber than they realise.' It's only with hindsight that Johnny's statement, despite being mildly tongue-in-cheek, was proven to be correct. Rarely has anyone moved on rock like the...