NEWS: Jonathon Woods Killed at Pembroke

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 UKC News 21 Mar 2011
Powerflex, 3 kbA rock climber from Bristol has been killed in an accident in Pembroke.

36 year old Jonathon Woods, known as Woody, was climbing with his girlfriend on Sunday the 20th of March at the Pembrokeshire sea cliff of Bosherston Head near St Govans when he was hit by a falling block of rock.


In reply to UKC News:

Thanks for posting this. My other thread is a bit redundant now.I've spent the last half hour writing this.


I will never forget our trip to Scotland as teenagers when I led you up Douglas Boulder Direct on the Ben with you shouting “stop” whenever I ran out of rope as we had no idea what pitches were. Or the train journey back to Glasgow after a big night out when I kept throwing up and you kept prodding me in the ribs every time I fell asleep and laughing at me.

I will never forget my 21st in York when we went to Brimham and I proudly pointed out to you one of my first E1s that I had recently led (Enigma). You then promptly soloed it, followed by the direct start to Birch Tree Wall first go. Or later that day when we went out in York and you tried (and failed) to pull all my old school friends.

I will never forget going to Goblin Combe with you and Chris when I led my first E1 on limestone (Smaug the Dragon), simply because I was too embarrassed to try anything easier in your company (not that you would have complained about following me up a VS). Thanks to your enthusiastic encouragement I did it, before watching you and Chris both cruise the E5 next door.

I will never forget doing Mysteries with you a few years later. I nearly couldn’t manage following the first pitch as the sea snapped at my heels, but that “you’ll be fine mate” could be heard once again floating round the crag. You then made sure I led the top pitch, which I loved but only just managed by the skin of my teeth. As I collapsed in the sunshine at the top, done in for the day after my first route, you skipped off laughing to try Stennis the Menace. (Did you do it? I never found out).

I will never forget a couple of years ago our trip to Stanage on a typically midgy and humid August day. You did Quietus with one runner in about 30 seconds. Then you did Old Friends with one runner in about 45 seconds. Without pausing for breath you then cruised Goosey, just as the drizzle started to seep out of the crack near the top. But still you weren’t finished and had a good go at the first pitch of Nectar in the pouring rain (it was slightly sheltered you see) before eventually giving up. Think how good you might have been on god’s own rock if you climbed on it more than once a year and came up in winter occasionally!

And I will never forget the last time I saw you. You came round to my house and met my eldest son who was about 15 months old at the time. You were the first person to tell him “no” except his parents and he SCREAMED. You just laughed, picked him up, swung him around and seconds later he was laughing too.

But mainly I’ll never forget your endlessly upbeat, encouraging, fun-filled, outgoing attitude to everything. You’ll be very sadly missed. RIP.

 Dan_Carroll 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I never knew him but having climbed at Bristol wall for 10 years I'd seen him around often and in magazines from time to time. So saddening to hear this dreadful news.

 BALD EAGLE 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Terrible news. Deepest condolences to all family, friends and loved ones.
 phayes 21 Mar 2011
yeh, its very sad news, my heart goes out to his friends and family, i know how they feel.
 Mick Ward 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

He came to the Shed once, almost flashed one of the traverses, foot popped off the next to last move. Looked a bit downcast. "Never mind, mate," I consoled him. "You could have spent two weeks on it - like me." A slow grin spread across his face. I can see it now.

Some people have so much to them. You could tell he had. He must have touched so many peoples' lives.

 Danos 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Very sad news. Thoughts are with friends and family.
In reply to UKC News:
Woody was great fun to be around. As my lodger he was kind, considerate and full of surprises. From girls to doormouse boxes you never knew who or what he might bring home next. I loved his spontaneity and mischief. As a climbing partner he was positive, bold but safe. As a driver he was a total scary lunatic. The whole of the Bristol climbing community will miss him terribly.
I also saw this tribute from Woody's other world:

Johnny Birks, chairman of the British Mammal Society where ecologist Jonathan taught wildlife courses, described his death as ''tragic''.
He said: ''We were shocked and saddened to hear of Jonathan's untimely passing.''We will remember his approachability, gentle good humour and great love of the outdoors and will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his mother, Frankie.
''Jonathan was well known to members of The Mammal Society, both through his work with his father, our former Chairman, Michael Woods, who sadly passed away last year, and as a trainer on our Dormouse courses.''
 FayeG 21 Mar 2011
I know what you mean about his driving! And his climbing - God, he was a joy to watch...just being around you meant you climbed a grade better! He'll be missed - but also remembered with smiles and laughter by hundreds of people around the world.

Chris Ellyatt 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

A terrible and unfortunate accident. Condolences to family and friends.

 Yanis Nayu 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News: It seems clear from what's been written on this thread that he was a top bloke. Condolences to his family and friends. Remember the good times.
In reply to John Alcock:

On one of my August Bank Holiday trips to Bosherston a few years ago, Woody took a few of us one evening to see the Greater Horseshoe bat roost somewhere near Stackpole. It was an incredible sight to see about 400 huge bats zip out from their roost at dusk and follow each other along their route into the woods to feed. He got us to stand in a line under their flight path so we could all feel their wingbeats as they came past about 8ft off the ground. We all stood and watched obediently in silence for 20 minutes, totally enthralled.

Then the following night it was back to business as he fell off his bar stool and asked me to help him count out 26p in coppers that he hoped would pay for the next double malt he'd just ordered.
 Ed Douglas 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News: Unbelievably sad. I knew his dad Michael, who died last year and was a dedicated environmental campaigner. Michael was so proud of Jonathan.
 Xavierpercy 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:I have never climbed with anyone with so much energy and enthusism. Woody made me feel young and I know that he will be deeply missed by many people.
 LaMentalist 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I know this poem isn't very good (crap even) but I felt compelled to write something . .

Some live as if there is no tomorrow

While others exist in oceans of sorrow

Some lie , cheat & steal & rob

While others share & teach ,
because its more than a job

They spread joy , laughter , smiles
& love
they emanate brightly as the sun
up above

I feel its our duty to

carry then share & nurture this love

deepest condolences to family & friends .

 MarkM 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Only climbed with Woody a few times but was just thinking of him this morning on my way to work; planning a trip down South and wondering if he'd be about... I hadn't seen him for a while and he was a great guy to climb with and just to be around.
Shocking, tragic news. My deepest condolences to his family and close friends.

 GDes 21 Mar 2011
I moved to Bristol 2 and a half years ago. Woody was one of the first climbers I met, and he immediately took me under his wing. The first time we climbed together was at Swanage. We got on polaris, an amazing, steep E5. It was snowing, and I felt distinctly out of my depth. Woody had that habit of getting you to get on routes without worrying about it, just for the adventure. We topped out, pretty spent. Time for the pub, I thought. Sadly not. I had to lead Warlord before we could go aparently. We topped out in the dark.

Last summer me and Woody spent 3 amazing weeks in California, climbing at the Needles and the incredible hulk. We got a real schooling in granite climbing, but had an amazing time. I'll always remember sitting in the tent during a storm, eating fig rolls. It came down to the last one, and to decide who got it, we played an epic game of scrabble. 2 hours later, Woody emerged victorious, with some slightly dodgy words, to claim the prize. Sadly, a little creature had eaten the fig roll while we were embroiled in the game. Woody went looking for the culprit but never found it.

During our trip the states, he had been introducing himself to people as Jonny. I asked him about it, and he said he'd decided he wanted to start being known as Jonny a bit more. Sorry mate, you'll be Woody forever.

We miss you dearly Woody. So much that it hurts. But you've left us all with a desire to live our lives as fully as you led yours.

Love from Nic and me
 KiwiPrincess 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I met Woody during his Time in New Zealand
He had a twinkle in his eye and was always up for adventures and mischeif, leading many cohorts astray.
Once when climbing at the Mt Eden quarry he kept falling at the top of a route. He decided that clipping was tiring him out and to do it he had to solo. I was sure He was crazy and I was going to see him get hurt. But he totally backed himself and made it. The size of his smile at the top with all that adrenaline pumping was amazing and how I'll try to remember him now.
Oscar Krumlinde 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Very sad! My deepest condolences to his family and close friends.

In reply to FayeG:

I've just remembered a photo he emailed me from one of his Oz trips. It was a picture of him grinning and pointing to a big dent on the bonnet of his car. I thought "yeah, and?" until I zoomed in. There was the perfect cartoon-like outline of a kangaroo imprinted on the bonnet.
In reply to UKC News:

Your excitement, energy and passion for climbing will always be an inspiration to anyone who knew or met you.
You’re sorely missed and always loved.

In reply to UKC News:

Horrid newws. RIP.

 Maestro 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Very sad news.
My thoughts go to his family, friends and girlfriend.

 Chris Snell 22 Mar 2011
You could not find a better bloke to tie on to a rope with than Woody. Hard, scary routes always felt easy when you climbed them with him, such was his enthusiasm for life and his ability on rock. He was one of those people you always wanted to be around in case some of his charm, good looks or climbing prowess might rub off on you. I enjoyed all the time I spent in his company and I will miss him terribly
Tim Emmett 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Climbing with Woody was always fun. Like children that never grew up, we were jovial and excited to embark on the unknown. The last time we climbed together he suggested an E4 in Avon gorge called Hammer Horror. The first pitch was loose and serious and he set off just as it was getting dark, finally arriving at the belay by torch light. I followed and remember being glad that I wasn’t me that led the first pitch. His skill, experience and talent had mastered it well!
We continued up into the darkness joking and laughing at the silliness of our Saturday night adventure while others partied and drank in the pubs, we giggled and shouted expletives questing into the night. It was so much fun, there was nowhere else we would rather be. Woody is one of my closest friends.
badger barrow 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Woody, it is so hard to accept you are no longer with us, you will always be one of my heroes and I feel so lucky to have known you. As with all heroes you gave us all the impression you were invincible, you climbed and lived like you were, it makes your loss so much harder to bare.
Your passion and love for cheddar was so infectious, you inspired us all, you will always be the original 'Ched head'. Summer evenings spent on sunset buttress with you are unforgettable, I will endeavour to build the cocktail bar up there that you always wanted.

We will love you forever, and never forget you

Gareth Yoxall 22 Mar 2011
I first met Woody in New Zealand, if I am honest at first I wasn’t sure I liked him; he was a cocky, damn too good at climbing and his self confidence I mistook as arrogance. How very wrong I was as I got to know him and discover who he really was, he was a bloke with boundless energy for climbing and for life and coffee which he generously made me every morning at Paynes. He frankly amazed me with his love for nature on a beach staring at Rock pools one day and then there was his ability to woe the ladies, this guy was something else. He phoned me out the Blue in October, I had'nt spoken to him or seen him in years, we talked about riding road bikes, about riding very fast downhill which we agreed was great fun, about him coming down for a weekend and catching up, I was so glad he had found his niche counting bats and mice. I will treasure that phone call for the rest of my life.
 GDes 22 Mar 2011
In reply to badger barrow: Let's make sure the Sunset Buttress sessions carry on this year, complete with curry afterwards!
richard abbott 22 Mar 2011
Hi I`m not a climber or anything but I went to school with Woody from the age of seven to eighteen - i`ve not seen him for years but after hearing the news and seeing the posts on this forum I had to say something.

At a young age Woody was everything that he has grown up to be - he never had a TV for years and days out with Woody would involve messing around the mendips in cheddar and doing stuff like looking for animal tracks and taking plaster casts of them, as we moved into our early teens we would spend hours and weekends camping and mountain biking. Woody and a good few of us were in the scouts - this involved loads of outdoor activitys and nature based stuff, we would do night hikes and have cook out nights and go camping - cheddar was an excellent place to grow up. Woodys enthusiasim for everything was huge and as i remember the times we had growing up I can understand what a great loss so many people will feel - after sixth form we took different paths and apart from drunken nights back in the pub at cheddar on a couple of occasions we never had much contact. I just wanted to share this with people who are a part of his life today - my thoughts are with his mum and family and friends - he`ll be greatly missed i`m sure.

richard abbott.
kingie52 22 Mar 2011
I only new Jonathon to say hello too in passing. Even so, I received an email from Jonathon back in Sept, saying how sorry he was to hear about the death of a very close friend whom was also taken in a climbing accident. The mail he wrote wasn't deep, but considerate with a very positive outline. I took a lot from the words he wrote and passed the message onto my friends other half, as I new it would make her smile at such a terrible time.

Wish I could have said thanks in person; your words helped a lot. You came across as one of the good guys.

My thoughts go out to his Family and Friends.

In reply to Gareth Yoxall:

it wasn't just mammals that he was into. about 5 years ago he came to my house with a load of ringtones on his phone of british birdsongs, as he was trying to learn them. he took great delight in teasing my dog by hiding the mobile under a settee cushion and ringing it from my phone, watching the dog pull the settee apart trying to catch the "bird"
 Gemma *G* 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News: I didn't know him, but condolences go out to family and friends.
 Ontherocks 22 Mar 2011

What a character! So bloody cheeky!
I'll never forget him shouting all sorts of half encouraging/half annoying comments whilst I huffed and puffed my way up the Divino in Spain. Wish I could have returned the favour.
But I'll also never forget the care he took to put up a night camera for his Dad, so that he could still watch the Badgers from in the house.
Such a loss for his family and friends.
 Jamie B 22 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I had the good fortune to be around Woody while I was just starting to climb at Uni. The madcap relentless energy and enthusiasm that he brought to it definately helped to inspire me and it continues to do so. He made climbing seem anarchic and sexy, qualities which are sometimes absent in todays more commodified times. I hadnt seen him for years but know that the world will be less colourful for his passing.
 colesy 22 Mar 2011
I first met Woody at University and was instantly jealous of the effect that he had on women and soon became fed up of being told how great he was by all of the women of Conservation Sciences! The first time I really got to know him was when we went mountain biking together. I hadn’t been out riding for a few years but had just bought a new bike. After seeing Woody smoking at parties I thought that I’d have no problem keeping up – how wrong was I! I was completely trashed at the end of the day but Woody seemed like he was still up for more. He was driving like a maniac on the way home (because he had an appointment with a lady to keep!) when he asked me to grab the wheel for a second. He then proceeded to get his lunch box out and started to eat a pre prepared pasta dish with a knife and fork. He took great delight in putting his foot down and scaring me shitless all the way back to Bournemouth!

I remember him phoning me just after he’d bought a shiny red Alfa Romeo. He was really excited but the boot lock wasn’t working and he wanted to know if he could use my drive to fix it. He turned up 30 mins later with an angle grinder that he’d rented, I couldn’t believe that he was going to be using it on his new car but he was too impatient to wait to get it fixed in a garage. An hour later he had a new boot lock in place and there wasn’t even a scratch on the paintwork – good effort!!

The first time that I ever went climbing was with Woody. He lent me a pair of his old shoes and a chalk bag and when I asked where the ropes were he told me that we wouldn’t need ropes but that I would need a towel and spare clothes as I would be getting wet. He took me to Conner Cove, I didn’t realise it at the time but it was like a who’s who of the South West climbing Scene that weekend. People were dancing up the rock and staying dry whilst I was getting soaked. At the end of the day I followed Woody up the Conger, he talked me through it move by move and amazingly got me to the crux where I fell off to the ‘woops’ of those watching. What a weekend, I was hooked.

I was so lucky to be taught to climb by Woody, he was an amazing, inspirational teacher. I always felt invincible when I was with him and always pushed myself so much harder. I would always get so excited about going on a trip with him because I knew that whatever happened we’d be in for an adventure.

Woody, learning to climb with you made me realise what was possible, you planted the seed in my mind that made me go and climb El Cap. It was so good to hear from you the other week, I was so excited when you said that you were going to be in the Verdon and was really looking forward to another adventure with you.

Where ever you are, take care matey.
In reply to colesy:

oh yes, I nearly forgot the DWS. I've always been a helly hansen thermals and a cow killer hex kind of climber -and frankly I look ridiculous in swimming trunks. But the day after my wedding (when he slept under my in laws front hedge, naturally), Woody showed about 20 of us the way along Magical Mystery Tours 1 and 2. I was going to finish after 1 because I can't often solo 5b and I don'tswim very well but of course I got swept along in the excitement and finished 2 as well.
 gazhbo 23 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

One of the most enthusiastic and inspirational people I ever had the pleasure to climb with. Sunset Buttress will never feel the same.
Gilly McArthur - DMM 23 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News: In reply to UKC News:

Charlie organised a great trip of friends to head to Lundy in 2006 and that Summer, Jenga game were offering to donate £500 to charity for 'Extreme Jenga' photos.

As ambitious pioneers, Mike, Bean, Woody and I headed in glorious sunshine to a prime picture taking spot. At the top of the towering sea stack of the Devils Chimney we carefully built up our 'Jenga Tower', Mike on a hanging belay with the camera.

With a sparkly twinkle in his eye, and a cheeky grin, Woody suggested it may be better if we girls would like to go for a 'topless' shot - under some guise that 'we really need to make sure they choose our photo...' So with beer in hand, and a Woody beaming from ear to ear, Mike in stitches and Bean and I starkers from harness up, the photo was taken.

Good old Woodster.

As neighbours, Woody, Charlie and I shared a huge, retail sized coffee grinder, and coffees in our house were a daily ritual. He would pop over the back wall (trashing the gate over the months) bound down the steps and let himself in the back door to invariably tell us he was already running extremely late for something or other.

Wonderfully infuriating to us all - There is 'Normal' time and 'Woody' time. Always will be.

Woody was one of my closest friends, and to have shared this beautiful world with him and all that he brought to it, was simply magical.
ash_v 23 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

My darling Woody,
You enhanced my life and I cant believe my future is one without you in it. We had made so many plans and had so much to look forward to and I cant believe that has now gone.

Im so sorry. I miss you. I love you.

Banana 24 Mar 2011
In reply to Sam Beaton:
Hi Sam, I still have those same ringtones in my iTunes collection. A while ago I asked woody if he had any cool new music so he gave me some and without looking I loaded it up to my computer and every now and then on shuffle I get the morning birdsong to the bemusement of my boyfriend. It always makes me chuckle, only woody!!!! that twinkle in his eyes for adventure and mischief will always be in my memories xxx
In reply to UKC News:

from everything I've read and heard in the last few days, it's clear that Woody lit up so many peoples' lives in the same way he lit up mine. That says it all about the man really. have a good one buddy, wherever you are
 raphael 26 Mar 2011
In reply to LaMentalist: I feel that too.

I believe in heaven and hell, and had an intuition that Woody is in heaven. I do not believe that people go there except by accepting the saviour Yahushua(called Jesus in greek). I had no reason to believe he had done this, but this is what I feel spiritually. I hope its true. I never knew him much, met him a couple of times and never knew his religious persuasion. I could be wrong, but there is an irrational feeling that drew me into writing this.

Now, I am not saying that people can live how they want and go to heaven, so if anyone can clear this up it would be good. Perhaps he spoke to god in his last moments. I feel it strongly, that he is now in paradise. There is hardly any words to tell how great paradise is, so nobody should weep for him, but only for themselves, which is natural and fine.

I got a similar 'message' today, could it be him? It was as if to remember to keep moving, that when we move we are invincible, it is when we stop and listen to the voices of doubt, which are in fact actually, demons, which we nearly all have, that we give in out of fear.

Woody somehow knew how to keep his demons in check, its something amazing. I met him trying the (French)8a Woody's Traverse, which I nearly managed. He did it the second time I saw him on it, I told him I was knackered or something and he said "what kind of attitude is that". He was so full of optimism and energy.

The real gift of Woody's life I believe is that he taught people how to keep moving and living, if you dont get busy living you get busy dying. I will keep his memory by putting this into practice.
 raphael 26 Mar 2011
In reply to raphael: I literally asked god for a confirmation of this since I really wasnt sure about what I said and I lie not, just now a group of youngsters walked past my window screaming something about "we're in heaven, we died" or something.

Now, demons can play tricks, but I dont believe they could do this. I believe Woody is in heaven. God just told me.

Non Christians can kick up a fuss. I tell you what I just heard, and what I believe, and I wont make excuses for it.

You have to accept Yahushua as saviour to see heaven. Amightywind dot com have the end time prophecies I advise people to visit this site.
Gilly McArthur - DMM 29 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Dear Friends of Woody.

A small family burial will be held in the morning of April 2nd for Woody, where he will be laid to rest beside his father Mike.

Following this, everyone is welcome to his memorial service in Draycott Memorial Hall, Draycott, nr Cheddar, BS27 3UE at 1.30pm.

After the memorial service there will be a get together to share in his life at his family home of Overlea House, Rughill, Crickham, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 4JZ.

There will be a large bonfire after 6pm.

Please come, as you are all most welcome.

For those that wish to continue in Bristol after the bonfire, there will be gathering of friends at The Climbing Academy, Charlton St, BS50FD from 9.30pm onwards.

People should be there by no later than 10pm, as after this time the gates will be closed. Please bring drinks, good memories and a smile.

The family wish for no flowers, however donations to the 'Somerset Wildlife Trust' will ensure the wetlands area and resting place at Overlea is conserved and developed into a nature reserve in the years to come.

Simply click on 'Make a Donation' then in the card holder name box, put "Mr Jonathan Woods' – this will ensure that your donation is allocated accordingly.

You can also donate by post - please send a cheque made payable to Somerset Wildlife Trust to: Somerset Wildlife Trust, Tonedale Mill, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 0AW or by phone - call 01823 652402, ref Jonathan Woods.

We hope to see you there.
In reply to UKC News:

I will be driving to Somerset and back on Saturday from Sheffield. Please email me if you'd like to share a lift and petrol money. cheers, Sam
 KiwiPrincess 30 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC News:
If any of woody's friends are in NZ there will be a gathering on April 16th in the North Island
In reply to Gilly McArthur - DMM:

the green clips were an outstanding idea. I'll make sure mine gets itself involved in some appropriate adventures.

Many thanks indeed.

 Adam Long 03 Apr 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I wrote a little something to help me deal with Woody's death. Read this if you please;

Liv x
In reply to UKC News:

There's a lovely obituary in this month's Climb too. Thank you Dave

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