Monday, 9 January 2017
Andy Pollitt 2, by Stevie Zero Haston.
Climbers can be huge people, obviously not in stature, just look at Johnny Dawes. Some of them weren't that flamboyant, or noticeable due to crazy last century foibles, like a modicum of honesty, and a reasonable amount of modesty. It was a pleasure to give Andy Pollitt his glowing review, as I did for Ron Fawcet a few years ago. We will doubtless meet up in an Ozzy pub one day and get smashed on nostalgia.
Will my little tales of daring do come light on gilded paper? I think the chances are receding. Life is just way too desperate now, just feeding my self seems to cause me problems and the future for an old geriatric climber with out health insurance looks bleak! When Andy Pollitt saw his mate "Jerry the greatestest climber" in the worlds book come out to a glad reception, it must've galled, but it was a spur to his memory, and a book was impregnated, gestated, and was finally born. There's a bit in the book about a route called Zero in the book, an old route in Ogwen and Andy's tale is of a grip up, a desperate grip up! Cris Gore did the route a bit after, the last route of this type that Chris "the horse" did. So many of these great climbers like Chris stopped climbing knecky routes-Chris was always a very sensible pragmatic bloke-and his early decision not to push the boat out was indeed sensible. Jerry gave up after Masters Wall and truly became the Master of hype all though he still managed in a couple of cases to pull his gnarly fingers out and do something-Liquid Amber springs to mind.
The modern equivalent of Zero still exists, you get the odd ascent of Indian Face every half decade, just to remind us cynics, that these types of hombre still get past the PC neutering stage. But do they develop into rabid Tom Cats of climbing, no they don't seem too. The old phrase there are old climbers and bold climbers but no old bold climbers springs to mind! Anyway Mr Andy Punk in the Gym, thanks for a good trip down memory lane. And as a final two fingers up, Andy did give Phil Davidson a good mention, talk about unsung 'heroes', obviously I wouldn't use hero carelessly, it's merely a substitution for climber here, to exaggerate climbings value to a non climbing public. Now that I mention Phil I have to mention Andy's not lack of technique, but his ordinaryness of foot work. In some of the photos you will see him splayed out, both shoes on inside edge! Andy used to drag himself up some things by force of will on those fingers of steel, with a body long lost much torsion, his mind slowly wilting, but he would win through. Thank god he did. Did I mention his crazy eyes…..