Entity Type:
Dunne, John (1968-)
Dunne, John (1968-)
Controversial Yorkshire rock climber John Dunne is a hero to many. In an age when success on the most technically difficult routes appear to belong exclusively to anorexically configured physical freaks with strong fingers, ‘big lad’ Dunne confounds the stereotype by competing with the best. Dunne’s provocative career began in the early 1980s when he used to antagonise many climbers at the Richard Dunn Climbing Wall in Bradford by climbing much better than them – then telling them that he was better as well! Phenomenally strong, his party trick was to do pull-ups while people tried to hold him down. During the so-called ‘sport-climbing’ boom of the 1980s he made the first ascent of what was probably Britain’s first F8b Magnetic Fields at Malham in Yorkshire. On ‘traditional’ rock he proved no slouch either. At the gritstone crag of Ilkley he climbed the dangerous New Statesman E8 6c, followed by Parthian Shot at Derbyshire’s Burbage Edge, which weighed in at a mighty E9 7a. It waited nine years for a repeat ascent. The effort took its toll however, and a severe bout of shoulder tendonitis ensured a lengthy lay-off from top end climbing. In recent years however, Dunne has made a comeback with a vengeance, climbing major routes such as The Big Issue (E9 6c) in Pembroke, and very hard routes in the Lake District and the Isle of Arran. Sponsored by major outdoor equipment companies, John is one of a select group of top rock climbers to have managed to earn a living out of the sport, and features frequently in advertising and videos.
Standout climbs: Magnetic Fields F8b, Malham; New Statesman E8 6c, Ilkley, Yorkshire; Parthian Shot E9 7a, Burbage Edge, Derbyshire; The Big Issue E9 6c, Pembroke, Wales.
Further viewing: The Big Issue, dir. Sid Perou.
Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells.
2006-08-06 00:00:00
Maxine Willett
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Dunne, John (1969-)