Jurassic Climbing Legend – Ron Fawcett

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Ron Fawcett – Rock Athlete

Ron Fawcett was born in 1955 and grew up in Embsay, Yorkshire. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the name Ron Fawcett was never far from the front pages of the climbing press. Then as now every climber and many of the public had heard of him. Following a TV documentary in the 1980s, he became known as ‘Ron Fawcett Rock Athlete!

Working Class To Climbing Machine

From his working-class Yorkshire roots where he helped his father on the farm milk collection round, he made a career in climbing. At the time professional climbers where not heard of and earning a living from climbing was a rarity if not impossible. Ron Fawcett trained in a way that today’s climbing athletes would recognise. He was part of a new wave whose dedication to training transformed the sport, pushing standards further and faster than ever before – or since. Ron Fawcett once said the best training for climbing is climbing and that is what he did. When not climbing on routes he would spend hours traversing and soloing. He wasn’t one of the party animals and preferred to knock out that extra one arm pull up or add an extra dozen press ups to his already impressive tally. He usually did 2000 press ups before he had his breakfast! As you will see from the image below this turned out one lean mean climbing machine!

Ron Fawcett 1

Amatur to Professional

Along with another Yorkshireman, Pete Livesey, Ron Fawcett was one of the main players who transformed rock-climbing in the 1970s and 1980s. From an exclusively amateur activity, they turned climbing into one with a professional element and the possibility to earn a living. His first new route was an E3, Mulatto Wall at Malham Cove, not bad for a lad of just 15 years old! Through his high standard of training and mental strength, he was soon smashing mental and physical barriers with a string of extreme new routes. From then on he dominated top-end climbing in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as well as making significant contributions on the crags of Wales, and occasionally in other parts of the country. Fawcett was also a pioneer of commercial sponsorship in rock climbing and was one of the first climbers to be regularly featured in climbing films and enthusiast videos.

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Ron Fawcett Top Climbs

His legacy of top-notch climbs ranks him alongside the very best in the history of the sport of climbing.

  • Slip n Slide (E6 6a), Crookrise, Yorkshire
  • Tequila Mocking Bird (E6 6b) Chee Tor, Derbys
  • The Prow (E6 6b) Raven’s Tor
  • Lord of the Flies (E6 6a), Cromlech, Snowdonia
  • Strawberries (E6 6b), Tremadog, North Wales
  • The Cad (E5, 6a) Gogarth, Anglesey.

Ron Fawcett 2

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