Gordon Stainforth

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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. 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 to 1994 so far. There's also all foreign climbs still to add ... Must get around to finishing it one day. Loads of climbs not mentioned.

Belper, Derbyshire

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.

Recent Postings

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Articles by Gordon Stainforth

Interests Outside Climbing
Nature in general: the whole natural world and the mysteries of the cosmos. Writing - fiction and non-fiction; 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.

Photo Gallery
Click to view Gordon Stainforth's gallery. (234 photos)
Chosen as the Featured Gallery on 01-Jun-09.
Click to search for photos of climbers called Gordon Stainforth.

Click to list photo comments written by me. (393 comments)
I've voted for 480 photos, average vote 3.8.
(28% superb - 37% good - 21% average - 10% poor - 2% rubbish)

Anything Else We Should Know
I can't stand bigotry and narrow-mindedness (i.e. various kinds 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 civilised, tolerant, friendly western societies – that I've seen in my lifetime.

(Also, here on UKC, while the vast majority of people who post in the forums come across as well-balanced and liberal-minded, I've noticed an alarming increase in reactionary and intolerant views. – March 2017: I'm semi-boycotting UKC forums now because they have become so tedious and negative in spirit. Just very occasionally there's an interesting climbing or current affairs discussion, but mostly it's surprisingly reactionary politics – dominated by some remarkably unpleasant and literally repulsive posters. There has also been a recent burgeoning contempt for history that I find disturbing, to put it mildly.)

9 June 2017: With a heavy heart I'm now saying good-bye to the UKC forums because the general tenor of discussion appears to have become so out of touch with what is going on in the country and so utterly at variance with what I would expect from young climbers. You would have thought, after a General Election with such a huge turn-out and in which 72% of 18-25 year olds exercised their democratic rights, that this website of 'fit young climbers' might reflect more closely what's going on in the country today. Sadly not. The moderates have been completely drowned out and driven away by the right-wing reactionaries – a few of whom appear to be non-climbers who've simply made this website their soapbox. What a pity. I've been one of the staunchest supporters of these previously excellent forums, but now I find myself (as a political, middle-of-the-road moderate) driven away from the whole website that's been reduced to nothing more than a receptacle for fine photographs, a useful logbook, and quite a lot of interesting articles. But the forums are dead.

9 Sept 2017. Yup, sadly, this once-lively forum now seems to have been rendered more or less stone dead by the 'Dislike' button. I'd be rather surprised now if it ever really comes to life again. At present it seems to have been reduced to nothing much more than a kind of dim-witted forum for complete beginners to discuss what sort of 'complete rack' they should buy or how to protect themselves for solo top-roping.

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