Entity Type:
Littlejohn, Pat (1951-)
Littlejohn, Pat (1951-)
The young Pat Littlejohn survived early childhood caving misadventures to blossom into the major pioneer of modern Extreme climbing in the south-west of England. Influenced by, and taken under the wings of, south-west pioneers Pete Biven and Frank Cannings, he was soon outclimbing the established masters of the area and his adventurous traditional climbing soon put the south-west 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 ‘gymnast’s 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 mountaineering’s 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), Raven’s Pyramid (Karakoram), N Face Poi (Kenya), NE Pillar of Taweche (Nepal).

Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells with an update by P Littlejohn.
2006-08-06 00:00:00
Maxine Willett
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Littlejohn, Pat (1951-)
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