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Longland, Sir John Laurence (1905-1997), known as Jack
Longland, Sir John Laurence (1905-1997), known as Jack
Trained as a pole vaulter, Longland had the athletic credentials to join an elite pack who pushed technical standards of rock climbing in Wales between the wars so hard it was streets ahead of developments elsewhere in the UK. He was foremost in opening up Snowdon's Clogwyn du’r Arddu, the forbidding 'Black Cliff' which had hitherto been regarded as a bit too much to handle, while at Idwal he unwittingly climbed the hardest pitch achieved to date, Javlin Blade (E1 5a), an extremely early Extreme “the crux was very strenuous; though not dangerous – I had a belay about 40 feet below me" which retained the cachet of being the most difficult climb for many years after. In addition Longland played a part in the long-running saga of Everest, establishing the then highest ever camp on the mountain at 27,400 ft in 1933. Arguably Longland’s most lasting legacy to the UK climbing scene however, lies in his promotion and development of the concept of outdoor education. As Director of Education for Derbyshire County Council after the war, he established the White Hall Outdoor Pursuits Centre, the forerunner of the many local authority centres which would subsequently mushroom all over the more physically challenging landscapes of Britain.

Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells.
2006-08-06 00:00:00
Maxine Willett
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Longland, Sir John Laurence (1905-1997), known as Jack