Reference Number:
GB 3075 PLJ
Papers of Pat Littlejohn
1 folder and 2 film reels
Creator Name 1:
Littlejohn, Pat
Biog/Admin History:
The young Pat Littlejohn survived early childhood caving misadventures to blossom into the major pioneer of modern Extreme climbing in the southwest of England. Influenced by, and taken under the wings of, southwest pioneers Pete Biven and Frank Cannings, he was soon outclimbing the established masters of the area and his adventurous traditional climbing soon put the southwest firmly on the climbing world map. Shocked, like many others, into a new professionalism by the training-induced high standards of Peter Livesey in the 70s, his output of routes became prodigious (now approaching two thousand) and resulted in countless modern classics, many of which were at or near the top standards of their day, in spite of holding out against the use of gymnasts chalk until 1984, on ethical sporting grounds.

Littlejohn was not just a rock climber, however, he was also an accomplished alpinist who applied the high free-climbing standards of 70s Britain to the toughest alpine rock walls, achieving many successes including a near-free ascent (2 pts) of the Hemming-Robbins route on the W Face of the Dru in 1971 and a decade later the South Face of the Fou (1pt) at a UK grade of E6 the hardest alpine free climbs of their day until bolting began in the mid 1980s. During the 1980s and 1990s he moved into the world of super-alpinism, becoming Director of the ISM at Leysin. In 1995 he completed the audacious NE Pillar of Taweche in Nepal with fellow aficionado of character building experiences, Mick Fowler.

More recently his mission has been to promote minimum impact climbing in Africa, most notably in Ethiopia and northern Kenya, where his route Dark Safari on the N face of Mt Poi is still rated Africa's most demanding adventure climb. In 2008 Pat was awarded an OBE for services to mountaineering, for his achievements and untiring efforts to ensure that mountaineerings unique spirit of adventure is kept alive within the sport.

Standout climbs South West: Moonraker, Archtempter, Crow, Il Duce, Eroica, Darkinbad, America, Guernica, Burning Gold, Fay, Pacemaker, The Absolution. South Wales: Yellow Wall, Transformer, Deep Space, Star Gate, Pleasure Dome, A Bigger Splash, Sorcery, Masterpiece, Terminal Twilight, The White Hotel. North Wales: Pagan, Hunger, Alien, The Axe, Byzantium. Abroad: Kjerag N Buttress (Norway), Ravens Pyramid (Karakoram), N Face Poi (Kenya), NE Pillar of Taweche (Nepal).
Acquisition Source:
Donated by P Littlejohn
Accession Number:
Scope and Content:
Correspondence, design sketches, brochure and photographs relating to the development of the Pat Littlejohn harness plus film footage of Everest - The Hard Way
Original order maintained
Access Conditions:
This collection is open for consultation. Readers are advised to contact the Mountain Heritage Trust in advance of their visit in order to make an appointment.
Reproduction Copyright:
Copyright remains with P Littlejohn and with the BBC and British Everest Expedition 1975
Related Material:
Description compiled by Maxine Willett, Archivist,
Access Points:
Littlejohn, Pat (1951-)
Wild Country UK
Related Entities:
Doncaster Archives Department
Keswick Museum
Littlejohn, Pat (1951-)
Nuts Museum
Science Museum Library
Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection
2012-03-19 00:00:00
M Willett