In tribute to Joe Brown

It is with great sadness that we learned that Joe Brown died peacefully at home after a long illness.

Joe Brown was one of the greatest climbers of the 20th century. He established hard new rock climbing routes in the Peak District and Snowdonia in the 1950s and 60s; he took part in the televised climb of the Old Man of Hoy in 1967, which was watched by 15 million people, and was a member of the formidable Rock and Ice Club.

Joe made many ascents in the mountains of the Alps with his fellow Rock and Ice members; he also made the first ascents of Kangchenjunga (1955 with George Band) and the west summit of Muztagh Tower (1956 with Ian McNaught-Davis).

As well as active climbing and mountaineering, Joe Brown played a key role in climbing equipment development and distribution. He was one of the earliest creators and users of climbing nuts and often tested equipment out for Frank Davies, the owner of the Climbers' Shop in Ambleside. Frank Davies also stocked Joe's own equipment, including the iconic Joe Brown climbing helmet (made in partnership with Mo Anthoine), before Joe and his wife Val opened a climbing shop in Snowdonia.

A legendary climber and an inspiration to generations of climbers, we are honoured that Joe served as a Patron for the Mountain Heritage Trust; today we are sharing photographs and objects which we hope will inspire fond memories.

Joe Brown (second left) on a Valkyrie Club meet on Kinder Scout, 1947 (Copyright Nat Allen Collection)

Joe Brown leading first ascent of Valkyrie, Froggatt, 1949 (Copyright Nat Allen Collection)

Joe Brown climbing in the Alps (Copyright Nat Allen Collection)

Joe Brown on Hen Cloud, 1970

Joe Brown in the list of members attending the first Rock and Ice Club AGM in 1952 (Copyright Nat Allen Collection)

Joe Brown helmet (Photo Copyright Mountain Heritage Trust)

A Joe Brown Welsh flannel shirt, bought from Ellis Brigham in Manchester, 1971 (Photo Copyright Mountain Heritage Trust)

Joe Brown and Chris Bonington at the National Mountaineering Exhibition (Copyright Mountain Heritage Trust)

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