Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Coming up: Millican Dalton...Professor of Adventure.

Millican Dalton....'the only thing he feared was soap!' Colin Wells

I first met him on Pencoed Pillar, the Hard V Diff that gets you to the narrow summit of the Matterhorn of Mid-Wales. He was chuckling to himself as we sat there looking across the cwm to Cader Idris and Norman was saying, "Brilliant line, crap route." I glanced behind Norman to the lean grinning figure with the pointed beard and broad-brimmed hat with a pheasant's feather. His obviously home­made clothes were of leather, like his face, and his heavily nailed boots were sockless. He sucked on his Woodbine as if it were oxygen.
"What did you expect?" I whispered to Norman. "You're talking about a route put up by a Professor of Adventure who was noted for fresh air and fun."
The leather man lit another Woodbine.
"Not that Millican Dalton character," Norman shouted, "the one dressed like Robinson Crusoe? No wonder this route's more mud than rock. That eccentric guy who lived in a cave in Borrowdale? That's where Sumner should be, for giving this route three stars!"
I glanced over Norman's shoulder, but the Alpine gnome had disappeared. It was to be the first of several uncanny meetings over the following years as each visit to the Lakes included a search for signs of Millican Dalton.

This Friday, Terry Gifford gives the low down on the legendary 'Professor of Adventure'. One of UK's first outdoor activity professional guides and someone of whom it was advised....stay up-wind of !