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John Allen (Read 6089 times)

shark

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John Allen
May 19, 2020, 10:37:39 am
Shocking news. Had two separate reports that John Allen died. Climbing accident at Stoney it seems. Had only got to know him recently. Huge character and legendary contribution on grit.

RIP  :'(

JamieG

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#1 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 10:59:58 am
That's horrible news. So sorry to hear that. He put up so many absolute amazing lines. What a tragedy.

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#2 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:05:59 am
Gutted to hear that, he was a legend and someone I always looked up to.

Ru

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#3 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:09:53 am
Reported on UKC too. Tragic. His routes are a genuine legacy.

andy popp

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#4 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:12:32 am
This is just awful news. John was obviously a remarkable prodigy in the 70s, leaving one of the finest legacies on grit. But I find his return in the 1980s just as inspiring really. Looking at the old edges with new eyes he put up scores of brilliant new routes that others had not seen - there are so many from that period I've enjoyed. Not bad considering the competition he was operating against. It's a terrible loss.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 11:34:01 am by andy popp »

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#5 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:19:33 am
Fuck. Thats awful. His routes are visionary.

fatneck

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#6 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:20:15 am
Horrid news!

iain

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#7 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:30:06 am
That's tragic, was hoping to bump into him at a crag one day.

I really enjoyed his chat with grimer:
https://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-climbing-podcast/jcpc-032-john-allen

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#8 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:36:40 am
Terrible sad news. RIP. So many great routes.. Profit of Doom is one of my most memorable trad experiences.

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#9 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:38:56 am
Iconic routes. Very sad news. Hartless Hare sticks in my mind - as well as West Side Story of course.

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#10 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:47:26 am
Fuck.

Falling Down

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#11 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 11:54:07 am
Oh no.  Thatís terrible news.  He was such a lovely bloke.  Absolutely tragic.

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#12 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 12:00:17 pm
Absolutely dreadful news. RIP


andy popp

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#13 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 12:35:23 pm
I'd love to see a John Allen FA tick list. Strangely, I never met him.

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#14 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 12:37:25 pm
RIP John. You'll be missed. One of the true gritstone gods.

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#15 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:03:10 pm
RIP. Hope his ghost will sit forever cross legged on a ledge at Millstone, nodding quietly.

al

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#16 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:12:04 pm
RIP john x

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#17 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:35:49 pm
That has just knocked me for six today.   :no:

RIP John.




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#18 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:42:52 pm
That's really sad news - as well as his huge contribution to gritstone climbing, John was a really friendly and encouraging person on the few occasions I was lucky enough to get to talk to him

T_B

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#19 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:49:22 pm
Fuck, what a legacy of routes. As Andy says some of those Ď80s routes are so special and were ahead of their time. And enjoyed by many more people since bouldering mats. Chip Shop Brawl and Stanage Without Oxygen are two of the best in that vein, bookending one of the worldís finest crags.

Trailblazer.

Such sad news 🙁.

Bonjoy

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#20 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:56:09 pm
Awful sad news.
John was an absolute legend and a visionary. Huge inspiration to me and many others. A climber's climber, and a great bloke. He's most famous for the big name grit routes, but for me it's the perfect highballs climbed before highballing was a thing that really impressed. Both on the grit and many of the great early lines at Castle Hill NZ, which he often named after places in Sheffield.

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#21 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:57:06 pm
Bloody Hell.

I canít say much about Johnís contribution to Grit climbing - his routes require talent, not just endeavour - but he had quite an impact on me and I would like to share a couple of stories.

I got to know John in Yosemite in the autumn of 1981. He was on a comeback after some low-profile years in New Zealand. He was crushing 5.12 and bouldering brilliantly, despite nursing a recurrent dislocating shoulder that would pop out if he rolled over in bed. My abiding memory is of how effortless he made it all look, one of the best movers on rock Iíve had the pleasure to witness. I couldnít hope to emulate this but his fearless attitude to reputation had more impact. A little of his try-anything spirit rubbed off and I had a big breakthrough in my climbing the following year.

My other memory was what a warm character he was. I was a lost soul at the time and he was a major reason why I stayed in California for the winter. I ended up sharing a house on Lake Tahoe with John, his girlfriend Carol, and a couple of other flotsam. In the tradition of illegal aliens we packed 5 into a two up, one down shack (aka The Cardboard Box, such was its structural integrity and insulating properties). Life seemed a huge game and he delighted in winding people up. Many stories are unrepeatable but in response to the local popularity of conspiracy theories (some things donít change) he took to wearing a pair of hand-crafted wire aerials when visiting the local bar.  When this sight triggered the desired inquiry heíd deadpan ďfor communicating with aliensĒ.  You have to have considerable chutzpah and charisma to carry this off without getting your lights punched out but he always managed it.

It was frequently impossible to judge where the real John started and the piss-taking showman ended. He enjoyed playing up to the northern hardman stereotype and simultaneously subverting it. He had shoulder surgery that winter - a risky procedure then - and was fairly terrified this might be the end of his climbing. Preoperative adrenaline meant he needed an extra dose to put him under. Asked to count to ten a second time, John responded, in his best flat cap accent, ďIím from Glossop, anesthetics donít affect meĒ.

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#22 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 01:58:42 pm
Iconic routes. Very sad news. Hartless Hare sticks in my mind - as well as West Side Story of course.
Think Heartless Hare was Bancroft, you maybe mean Hairless Heart? That was certainly the first time I became aware of him - sat in the FRCC library at Lancaster Uni reading the Extreme Rock essays for Quietus/Old Friends and Hairless Heart/Strapadictomy. Havenít read either for a while, but can still remember a lot of the detail - Drummondís water cooled helmet on Hairless Heart and leading Quietus naked with the rope tied round his waist. When you see size of his contribution to Peak climbing, itís pretty staggering.

andy popp

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#23 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 02:13:00 pm
Thanks for those great stories Duncan. Strangely, I never met him, neither somewhere in Sheffield nor somewhere out on the grit.

Paul B

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#24 Re: John Allen
May 19, 2020, 02:21:22 pm
RIP indeed.

Years ago, when I was much younger, I ended up climbing with a bunch of climbers from the NE including Mawson's Dad (I think Neil had left for Uni), Howard. I wasn't overtly aware of it at the time but Howard was keen on targeting Allen and Bancroft routes every time we went out. I can clearly remember belaying/spotting him on Old Friends expecting to be flattened at any moment.

 

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