...As he strode quickly down in to the village, ageing feet suddenly sore from hitting the solid tarmac, his thoughts wandered. A woman flung open a door, bursting on to the pavement, language and clothing equally colourful. It was a scene he had relived many times, his face flushed with shame. He thought of her, tall and colourful, and of how he'd left in a brown Austin Maxi, with her screaming on the step. But climbing was everything to him then. Almost running out of the house, leaving his Simond twelve point crampons on the kitchen table, not daring to look her in the eye. He'd not sobered up until Dover. That winter in the Alps had been his crowning glory...
Later, detailing an attempt on The Indian Face:
...Stuck high on that slab, like a child swept out to sea, Chris had screamed for fifteen minutes. He couldn't move up, he couldn't reverse. Legs cramping, toes sliding, he swore. Then he'd gone quiet, resting his forehead against the rock. His rapid, loud breathing dimmed to a faint rasp. Young Martin held the useless ropes like rosary beads, his fingers twisting across them. It was too late, but Chris plunged upwards, no choice but to do battle with the cold, grey enemy. Shaking beyond control now, his foot stabbed the rock, eyes wide, fingers grasping, searching, crawling...
Read an interview with Jack on: UKClimbing.com
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