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Thread: Don Whillans' last climb

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    Heavenly Creature
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    Don Whillans' last climb

    Can't offer you a TV program as I don't own one, but for any old hippie rockclimbers, here's Don and Joe Brown on Cemetry Gates:


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    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Great couple of climbers and both legends , just had a quick search on you tube but could not find the film of Chris Bonington and Don climbing together , just before Dons Death .Was sure it was filmed by Sid Perou. Maybe I dreamed it ! I am sure Whillans was leading just tied on at the waste old school , with a lot of him calling Bono 'Youth' alot .
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    I am sure Whillans was leading just tied on at the waste old school
    That's how I started, with a hemp waist length. A few old boys were still using hemp ropes and nailed boots.
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    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Me too , if you started with a Whillans Harness you would have had a high pitched voice if you fell off ,a few people were still tying on direct on southern sand stone when I was last there 7 years ago , but thats all top roped so not proper falls .
    Jim Perrins book 'The Villain ' , Whillans biography is good , but maybe not too flattering .

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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Me too , if you started with a Whillans Harness you would have had a high pitched voice if you fell off ,a few people were still tying on direct on southern sand stone when I was last there 7 years ago , but thats all top roped so not proper falls .
    Jim Perrins book 'The Villain ' , Whillans biography is good , but maybe not too flattering .
    "not proper falls" - I am very averse to falling, and only did it once when drunk (don't, children!) and once when night climbing when I misjudged the distance jumping down, it was about 25ft!

    That's in a climbing career of about 10 years when I was young and whippy. But you never stop climbing really.
    .

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    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    I have only taken a few falls lead climbing , enough to have made me avoid it like plague , I have quite hurt myself , but I use to do a fair bit of sport climbing so have taken dozens and dozens of falls , which can be spicy if the bolts are adventurously spaced or look dodgy /loose hanger . I have not been rock climbing for 7 years now, last time was my 50 th birthday , but until then a real lot all over the place . I still love getting out in the mountains and still tinker with some snow and ice or a scramble .

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    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    I like staying here
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    . In the last 20 years I've taken many a minibus full of street kids there to let them loose. It's a wicked place to stay for the weekend and can be booked for very little money.
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.

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    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    A chap called Doug Moller used to live there years ago , he was hostile to climbers and then started to embrace them , He was self proclaimed 'lord of the roaches' and a real character aparrently . Also used to be Wallabys around the crag . Never stayed the ,but it looks very cool . Can anyone stay there now ? I could as been lifelong member of BMC but a bit pricey for me
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    Haven't climbed in Snowdonia since '65, last time I roped up was '73, caving was easier to organise after that, packed that in '88.

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    Just remembered my first proper climbing lessons from
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    Now I have wound myself up to the point where I will have to go and climb something. Bugger!

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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    A chap called Doug Moller used to live there years ago , he was hostile to climbers and then started to embrace them , He was self proclaimed 'lord of the roaches' and a real character aparrently . Also used to be Wallabys around the crag . Never stayed the ,but it looks very cool . Can anyone stay there now ? I could as been lifelong member of BMC but a bit pricey for me
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    Yes anyone can stay there, you do have to book and if you don't book the whole place it can and will be shared occupancy. We hired it out for the weekend each time. We also hired a climbing instructor and caving instructor for the weekend. It worked out aboy 4 per person per night based on 16 or 18 people sharing. No idea of the full booking price these days. I know the key holder and go to his home about 4 miles away to handle key exchange. Last time I phoned the guy up which was about 6 years ago when I was going to organise a hippy gathering in the hut. It was fully booked for the year for group bookings. It's just a brilliant playground outside on. Those boulders. It really is a cave with a foli built on the front of the cave. From memory it's got Kitchen, dorm x 2. One staff bedroom, one drying room. Toilets/shower room. Hot/cold running water, heating, cooker fridge, electric kettle, lights. We have had some wicked sessions in there.
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.

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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    Just remembered my first proper climbing lessons from
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    .

    Now I have wound myself up to the point where I will have to go and climb something. Bugger!
    Gwen Moffat ? She was keen on climbing bare foot i believe !
    Last edited by ma bungo; 07-02--2017 at 10:32 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Gwen Moffat ? She was keen on climbing bare foot i believe !
    No, Brede Arkless.
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  14. #14
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Ah ! heard of her , just googled , she passed away in 2006 shame !
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