Entity Type:
Cross, Alice (1911-2004), nee Nelson, known as Jammy
Cross, Alice (1911-2004), nee Nelson, known as Jammy
Conventional wisdom has it that climbing was largely the preserve of the middle classes until the egalitarian spirit of post-war Britain swept away the old rules, letting the great unwashed loose over the sport with a tidal wave of plumbers. This is not entirely true. A few proletarian pioneers were making their mark in the 1930s and amongst the most impressive were Sid and Alice ‘Jammy’ Cross. These two young Kendalians made some remarkable climbs in the Lakes between 1937-1940, including two Grade V winter climbs, while Jammy became the first woman to lead Central Buttress (HVS). In 1949 the Crosses took over Langdale’s famous Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel. Here, they created the famous climber’s bar which became one of the key base camps from which the explosion of post-War energy and talent was unleashed on the crags. Sid & Jammy became unofficial guardians to the gangs of unkempt and impecunious climbers, among them such luminaries as the young Don Whillans and Joe Brown, who dossed in Wall End Barn next to the hotel. It was also during this period that Sid became instrumental in setting up what was to become the Langdale Mountain Rescue team, and, resourceful as ever, developed advanced rescue techniques, pioneering the use of dogs to locate casualties in the Lakeland mountains.
Standout climbs: Rock: Central Buttress (HVS) - first lead by a woman. Winter: Bowfell Buttress (V), Steep Gill (V)
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Maxine Willett
Access Points:
Cross, Alice (1911-2004), nee Nelson, known as Jammy