The migration of English climbers into the Llanberis area during the 1960's

Blaen y Nant - The white cottage near the top of the fields.

I was rudely woken early ( 09:30am. ) on Thursday, 11th. July 2002, by a phone-call. The caller, with a polite Irish accent, seemed concerned that I had not paid my British Telecom Bill for the last six months. Half asleep, but aware that I did not have a BT account, I realised that the call was not genuine - but a hoax. Slightly more awake now, I realised that it was an ex Special Air Services friend who I climbed with in the 1960's and had tracked down and visited on the other side of the world in 1999.

He informed me that he was in Shrewsbury with friends and intended to visit Joe Brown in Llanberis before heading for Scotland. Could I put him and his partner up en-route. I agreed and he hung up to get on with his day.

Later in the day when I was more fully awake to the world, I realised that I may need some food for their tea and also, did I need to get some ale in? Would they be in Warrington early enough for one of his ex 'A' Squadron friend's, who lives nearby, to visit for an evening of reminiscences? They had not met for over twenty years.

As I knew that he was intending to visit Joe Brown in Llanberis, I phoned Joe and asked if he would get him to call me when he arrived so I could prepare a meal for them and arrange the meeting for the evening.

I have known Joe Brown since I was 12 years old and apart from Jimi Hendrix, have never admired anyone as much as Joe. One of the greatest pioneers in rock climbing and mountaineering - on a par with The Beatles musical talent. The most genuine and modest hero of all time. Joe's biography can be read via the Joe Brown shop website.

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Joe stated that he had been discussing with his friends as to when the English climbing fraternity moved into Llanberis. As one of the earliest English settlers, although of Welsh decent [ Ffestiniog / Hughes ], I thought that I would publish my knowledge and photographs dating back to 1961 for others to read on a history of Llanberis during the 1960's. The greatest time of my life - no money, no worries, just a happy carefree climbing environment.


White Hell

21st January 1963 - 50 years ago.



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