WINNER: Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2010
Ron Fawcett is a natural-born climber. In 1969, while still at school in his native Yorkshire, he tied into a climbing rope for the first time and was instantly hooked. From that moment on, it seemed nothing else in his life mattered nearly as much as his next vertical fix. In Rock Athlete, he tells his story.
WINNER - The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.Ron Fawcett is a natural-born climber. In 1969, while still at school in his native Yorkshire, he tied into a climbing rope for the first time and was instantly hooked. From that moment on, it seemed nothing else in his life mattered nearly as much as his next vertical fix. Ten years later, Fawcett was the most famous rock climber in Britain and among the best in the world, part of a new wave whose dedication to training transformed the sport, pushing standards further and faster than ever before – or since. His legacy of new climbs ranks him alongside the very best in the history of the sport. He was also the first to style himself a professional rock climber, starring in the landmark television documentary Rock Athlete, and appearing on the covers of magazines around the world. But far from enjoying the fame, Fawcett found the pressures of the limelight too much to bear, and at the end of the 1980s he faded from view.
Now, for the first time, he tells his extraordinary story, of how his love of nature and the outdoors developed into a passion for climbing that took him to the top – and almost consumed him.
Ron Fawcett is a British rock climbing legend. As one of a number of leading climbers in the 1970s, Ron was in no small part responsible for rock climbing's evolution from amateur pursuit, to professional endeavour. His drive, and physical and mental ability, gave him an edge with which to forge new ground. Climbs such as Lord of the Flies and Strawberries were at the forefront of world climbing at the time, and are still considered formidable challenges over 30 years later. Arguably the first to translate his talent into a career, Fawcett attracted sponsorship deals and starred in a number of TV shows and specialist films, including the cult classic Rock Athlete, by filmmaker Sid Perou, and Dead Men's Tales by Leo Dickinson. Ron lives in the Peak District with his two daughters.
Ed Douglas has been climbing for over thirty-five years and has been a writer and editor for the last thirty. He launched the magazine On The Edge while at university in Manchester, and has published eight books about mountains and their people. His books include biographies of Tenzing Norgay, rock-climbing visionary Ben Moon and the late British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves. His ghostwritten autobiography of Ron Fawcett, Rock Athlete, won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in 2010. Three of the essays in The Magician’s Glass were either shortlisted for or won at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada. Douglas’s journalistic work most often appears in The Observer and The Guardian. He is the current editor of the Alpine Journal and lives in Sheffield with his wife Kate. They have two grown-up children.
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