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John Allen Tragically Killed at Stoney West

© Alan James

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.

John Allen climbing his own route Golden Parachute (6b+) at Moss Rake  © Alan James
A recent photo of John Allen on a new route at Moss Rake

For many climbers from the 70s and 80s John was a gritstone hero. His influence when still in his teens in the mid 70s was immense and defined the bold gritstone era. The track record of John Allen ascents is as impressive as they come. In 1975 he set the gritstone world alight with stunning ascents of Old Friends, White Wand and Nectar amongst others. At Millstone he freed Coventry Street and then pushed the standards with what was probably his greatest achievement - a free ascent of London Wall. Add into that mix Hairless Heart, Artless, Moon Walk and Profit of Doom from Froggatt and Curbar and you begin to get a measure of the influence John had.

In 1976 John departed to New Zealand, a move which added to his legendary status. His essay in Extreme Rock about the big route he didn't manage to do - Beau Geste at Froggatt - is a beautiful piece of writing full of his passion for gritstone. In the mid-80s John returned and continued to add great routes like Shirley's Shining Temple to Stanage. In more recent times John has taken up sport climbing with new routes being put up in various Peak District quarries.

John Allen was truly one of the greats of Sheffield, Peak District and British climbing and his legacy of first ascents on gritstone is peerless. He will be sadly missed.


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19 May

Such a huge legacy. Rest in peace.

That’s dreadful news. RIP John.

19 May

Very sad news.

19 May

Sad news :(

19 May

F*ck 2020 already... :-( RIP John.

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