Writer, photographer, film maker, music editor, rockclimber, and 'has-been' alpinist (last Alpine season 1972!). No longer rockclimbing (since April 2007) since onset of eyesight problem (macular pucker), but still walk hundreds of miles a year in the Peak (though this has been curtailed by a hip replacement in 2019.) Am now slowly putting highlights of my rock climbing into the UKC logbook. Just the landmark routes i.e. those that seemed important or special at the time. It's very much an ongoing project - have done 1966 up to/including 1999 so far. There's also all foreign climbs still to add ... Will get around to finishing it soon. Loads of climbs not mentioned.
Best Climbing Experience Literally dozens, but first great one was getting to top of the Zinal Rothorn in 1967. Others: when my twin brother and I both led Cenotaph Corner on sight at separate times on the same day in 1970 (a big pub celebration that night!); getting back to the road alive (just!) after 3-day epic on Store Trolltind in Norway in 1969; arriving at the cave on Vector in 1983; getting to the tree at the top of Debauchery after onsight lead in 1995; taking all my medium format camera gear to the summit of Kala Pattar on a very cold night with a full moon to get shots of sunrise on Everest in 1999; returning to Store Trolltind with John in July 2013, climbing to the summit, and thereby 'completing' the Fiva Route 44 years and 4 days after our 1969 epic - quite a moving farewell to the mountains, because my damaged eyesight means I can no longer see my feet well enough to place them accurately. So what? I have no regrets at all; have had a great time.
Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic No particular. I used to be interested in anything and everything connected with climbing, but am now now more interested in the whole context of climbing, in both the natural and political world. 2014: I'm now most interested in writing, talking (ideas), and walking with friends.
Interests Outside Climbing Nature in general: the whole natural world and the mysteries of the cosmos. Writing - fiction and non-fiction (six books, one unpublished; seventh book in pipeline); writing screenplays; philosophy; medium and large format landscape and mountain photography; film editing; music editing for feature films (music editor on The Shining and The Dresser); publishing and book design; web design (using CSS and PHP); hillwalking; history; classical music (partic. Bach and Beethoven), English pubs with real ale, no 'music' and open fires.
About My Photography No comment, apart from the fact that after years of using medium and large format film I find the latest advances in digital photography very exciting, and very liberating for photography in general.
Anything Else We Should Know I can't stand bigotry and narrow-mindedness (i.e. any kind of brainwashing, in politics, the arts, or science).
Now, in 2016, I feel that the UK's vote for Brexit and the US election of Trump for President represent the most serious double threat to life as we know it in Western society – civilised, tolerant and friendly – that I've seen in my lifetime.
Feb 2018. Since I wrote the above, the effects of the disastrous referendum have gone from bad to worse, splitting the country up and down as Leavers foment hatred and further division. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has spilled over to the once-excellent UKC forums, so that they are now more or less dominated by extremists (with the exception of three or four brave voices) – some of the worst culprits appearing not to be climbers at all.
July 2020. Sadly the forums have become weaker and weaker over the last two years. As I've said several times before, I think the discussions have been seriously degraded by the Dislike button. Many a thread has been killed by it. If you try to say something uncontroversial, factual, or useful and are in effect told to piss off, well, that's what you do. It can't be doing UKClimbing business much good.
I Climb... Several times a year In the UK, Europe & USA
Latest Climbs Nordryggen / North Ridge Grade-1 The Scoop HVS 5b Step-ladder Crack VS 5a Flash Wall VS 5a Upper Tor Wall HS 4b Dunsinane VS 4c Twisted Smile HVS 5a Legacy HVS 5a Intestate E1 5b Janker's Crack HS 4b Janker's Groove VS 4c Campion Wall VS 4c Port Wine VS 5a Trapeze Direct VS 4c Tody's Wall HVS 5a ... list all 972 climbs
Ticklists ROCKFAX Eastern Grit (2006): Top 500 31% Connoisseur's Classic Rock 21% Full of Myself - Johnny's Book namecheck 8% ... list all 4 ticklists