The Mountain Men



The fascinating inside story of pioneer rock climbers in Snowdonia, from the closing decades of the nineteenth century until the outbreak of the First World War.



The men who first took rock climbing to the cliffs of North Wales in the twenty years up to the outbreak of the First World War were of a very special breed. Their physical achievement on the crags was impressive, but it was on other planes–the social and the spiritual–that they made their unique impact.

Intelligent and articulate, they described and analysed their sport with a force and vividness that has never been equalled by any other generation of climbers and not surpassed, possibly, by any generation in any sport.

The Mountain Men is their story, told to a large extent in their own words.

Extensive use has been made of the climbers’ own written accounts, incluidng their climbing notes, diaries, and published works, as well as contemporary newspaper and journal reports. Interviews with a number of Snowdonia veterans have also provided a fascinating illumination of the period.



  • Map of the Snowdonia area
  • ‘The Romantic Trust’
  • Snowdonia: Myth and History
  • The Mountaineers Arrive
  • The Conquest of Lliwedd
  • New Men, New Worlds
  • The Great Gulley Period
  • The Climbers’ Club
  • Geoffrey Young
  • The Pen-y-Pass Community
  • New Routes; 1906-14
  • Clothing, Equipment, Techniques
  • Publication and Controversy
  • The Deaths of Friends
  • The War and After



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