Friday, August 19, 2011

Ron Fawcett: Rock Athlete

Come on Arms do your stuff!!! In his book Rock Athlete Ron Fawcett recollects that this “throw away” comment he made while being filmed climbing lord of the flies, was just simply something to break the silence. Yet he notes it took on a near mythical form, with climbers regurgitating it to each other and at him as a sort of cult style catch phrase… Well I was one of those climbers! Even though the bulk of Ron’s career was played out in the 70’s and 80’s when I started climbing (90’s), I was fed a healthy diet of Ron Fawcett stories and every crag we went to that had a route by the big man on was pointed out to me.

This is a biography of the man who for me, made climbing what it is today. The cover shot sums up what he was to me perfectly, his finely tune athletic frame (a result of the thousands of push ups he did a day, and the hundreds of miles of rock he would cover each week), pierced by “a stare so focused it could cut steel!” .

Having not known the man this book linked up all the magazine articles, stories and pictures I have absorbed about him over the years. His biography walks you through his life and achievements, in a warts and all narrative, his self-conscious and shy personality show through as the common thread of the book is how he would consume large quantities of highly graded routes to satisfy his appetite for rock and not fame.

A fantastic read about a living legend, make it part of your library today.

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