Ushaw College

Joe attended Ushaw College, a Catholic Seminary near Durham from 1961-1968, with the initial idea that he might be suited to the Priesthood, and he achieved good academic results. Books were read out during silent meal times in the College refectory, and Joe was inspired by The Climb Up to Hell by Jack Olsen, which described attempts to climb the North Face of the Eiger. In 1966 one of the College Professors, Father Tony Barker, established a small climbing group, and Joe began rock climbing in the old College quarry. At the age of 20, Joe left Ushaw to study Sociology at Manchester University, he returned in later years to give lectures on his mountaineering exploits.