Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Coming Up: Michael Combley's 'In the Beginning'

Essential kit for the seventies climber.

"Several were invited invited to an ‘Advanced’ climbing course as an extension to our adventure course and we climbed at Sennen and Bosigran in Cornwall and along the way we learnt that our outdoor pursuits instructors were famous; Colin Mortlock was the Centre Director and Jim Perrin was the main climbing instructor. Suddenly we were rubbing shoulders with celebrities and climbing royalty. Mortlock’s philosophy on outdoor education was that in order for it to ‘work’ we had to experience an adventure, a place outside the comfort zone where the senses were heightened and the individual began to understand fear and enjoy the sensation of new experiences.
He told us about his ideas and philosophies and in the ‘try anything’ sixties and seventies we bought it all.Our dinner money became Moac nuts and Helvelyn boots, nylon 3 strand climbing ropes and hemp waistlines. The Henderson Geography Prize became guidebooks to Tremadoc and Llanberis. We pooled our money and shared petrol cash or hitch hiked to North Wales for weekends or weeks. Knowing the great Jim Perrin became a passport to the Padarn Lake Hotel and the Climbers Club Hut in The Pass. Our meager dinner money graduated to college grants and gradually we came to know in passing, Joe Brown, Mo Antoine, Roland Edwards, Breda Arkless, Al Harris, Denny Moorhouse and many of the extended Llanberis set of the seventies.'

Don Whillans.Master of the one-handed roll up.

This Friday;Aussie exile Michael Combley harks back to the halcyon days of yore when he began climbing. A time of roll ups,fry ups,punch ups with the odd bit of climbing thrown in!