Thursday, 30 September 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
The alpinist, regarded as one of the finest climbers of his time, also wrote Conquistadors of the Useless, his much acclaimed autobiography in 1963. Here he defined his love of mountains as "This mass of grandeur and mystery...this world of ice and rock where there is nothing to be plucked but weariness and danger."
In a review of the book for the Guardian, Patrick Monkhouse (a climber, and a writer/editor on the paper for some 30 years who features in the Guardian Book of Mountains), while praising the content, thought the title "irony overstrained". Perhaps, but four decades on the and the phrase regularly crops up in mountainering essays and articles. In fact, I'd say that it's up there as one of the greatest titles for climbing/adventure books.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
Another description of the famous cave dweller can be found in the 1992 obituary of climber Paul Orkney-Work, in which he is quoted as saying, "(Dalton) made his own clothes and equipment and never washed. My mother broke off the engagement eventually. She said that he had a rather strong goaty aroma. But he took no offence and when she married my father he made them a tent for their honeymoon, in the gipsy style, with hoops rather than poles"
Read more about this amazing character in Millican Dalton: A search for Romance & Freedom.
There are a number of Griffin articles in the Guardian Book of Mountains, but his work also appears inDouble Measures. Here he writes about Lanty Slee, a notorius bootlegger and yet another cave dweller. Hidden underground in a quarry area near the Langdale valley the sometime farmer produced illicit whisky that was said to be the best for miles around.