Round the World in 40 Climbs: Episode 9: Napes Needle

Round the World in 40 Climbs: Episode 9: Napes Needle

The first real rock climb in the UK. Was climbed solo by Walter Haskett-Smith in the 1890’s. The photo of him stood on the summit would be the first dramatic image of this new sport. It was to set the Lake District and other mountainous places alight. I headed up to climb the route in the same style as the first ascentionist, and on a overcast and lonely day I made my ascent. Following in…

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Ascent of Man – Napes Needle

Ascent of Man – Napes Needle

The Napes Needle is arguably one of the most famous rock climbs in the UK if not the world, because it represented a change in the pursuit of mountaineering. A branching in the evolutionary tree of simply scaling mountains. In ascending the route Walter Parry Haskett Smith became the godfather of modern rock climbing. However he was probably not the first but his route certainly captured the mountaineering fraternity at the time, creating something of…

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Ascent of Man – Romance, Religion and Botany

Ascent of Man – Romance, Religion and Botany

It may seem crazy that we first needed a reason to go into the mountains before we could master them and it is that journey to mastery that I am charting in this series. Small and subtle steps up the evolutionary slopes of mount improbable. One of the most influential eras in our history was the Romantic Movement. Not because it pushed climbing standards forwards, but because of the message that was hidden in the…

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