With my friend and climbing partner, Greg Rimmer, we enjoyed the films but even better was rubbing shoulders with all our climbing heros in the bar; characters that we had read about in CRAGS and MOUNTAIN magazine: Ron Fawcett, Pete Livesey, Steve Bancroft, Paul Nunn, John Sheard, Chris Gibb, John Allen, Pete Crew, Geoff Birtles, Tim Lewis, Al Evans, Dave Knighton, Al Rouse, Ken Wilson, Bernard Newman.....
These were some of the climbers that defined our early climbing experience just like Chris Sharma, Dave MacLeod, and Steve McClure do for many young climbers today.
The 1980's saw a new boy on the block, Jerry Moffatt......I can see the CRAG magazine headlines now, Strawberries Repeated....17 year old Jerry Moffatt has repeated Strawberries, the first route to be graded 7a........Obviously his name is worth watching out for..., and he was, even today Jerry Moffatt is a cult figure among many young climbers. Not just for his ascents of Master's Wall and Liquid Amber, but more so for his devotion and obsession to bouldering and training, and pushing forward world climbing standards like his contempories, Ben Moon and Wolfgang Gullich.
Then there was Dawes who heralded a new paradigm on slate, grit, quartzite and mountain rhyolite: The Quarrryman, End of The Affair, Gaia, Conan The Librarian and of course Indian Face.
If you were active in the the Eighties and a little before there are four biographies being published in the next year that are going to be essential reading. Johnny Dawes is holed up in his garret in North Wales busy on his autobiography, Robert Seymour is working on a biography of Pete Livesey.
But first up is Jerry Moffatt. Sheffield based publisher Vertebrate Publishing have announced that, Moffatt's biography provisionally titled, 'The Ace: 20 years on top of the pack' will be available January 2009.
Vertebrate Publishing have sent us an short excerpt and a press release. And following the Moffatt book, being ghost written by Niall Grimes, Colin Wells is working on a biography of the other Master of Rock, Ron Fawcett.
UKCLIMBING.COM PREVIEW:Jerry Moffatt's Biography....and Ron Fawcett's which includes How Jeremy Moffatt became Jerry Moffat.
I'm looking forward to all four of these books, and I'm sure I'm not alone.