Joe Brown honored


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Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 20, 2011 - 11:44am PT
I just saw an Alpinist report that Joe Brown was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Tales of his daring-do were some of the first I read when I started to climb, and that great little crack climbing technique of dropping the thumb was taught to me as a "Joe Brown".

A quote of his that really resonated with me "Anyone who does new routes will agree, you just can't beat it. There have been lots of occasions when I've been sorry to get to the top, because it's finished, and it's been so fantastic you don't want it to stop."

Another interesting fact in the Alpinist report was "When many climbers didn't think twice about hammering in as many pitons as necessary, Brown had a self-imposed limit of two pieces of protection per pitch."

An award well deserved I say, one of my all time heros.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2011 - 12:27pm PT

This one is worth two threads, at least.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2011 - 12:28pm PT
^^^^^ +1 ^^^^^

Three cheers for Joe Brown!

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 20, 2011 - 12:34pm PT
ooops!! I missed that one.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 20, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
One of my inspirations for sure! Imagine my thrill to meet 'im in the
flesh on 'is own turf! I think I coulda picked 'im up with one hand
but I didn't want to risk being thrown across the bar.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 20, 2011 - 01:29pm PT
Joe Brown is the epitome of all that is good and noble in a climber.

By not seeking accolades, they arrive on their own!

Reilly- Do tell about meeting Jamcrack Joe!


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 20, 2011 - 01:52pm PT
If you insist. I'll even tell the truth - it wasn't in the bar.

It was 'ere:

atop the Red Wall on Anglesey. We came down from Scotland as the ice weren't
in yet so a little 'fun in the sun' in bloody Wales in late November was in order.

We were actaully camped right on the top there. It was almost dusk,
meaning it was about 3:30, and we were just havin' a cuppa. All of a
sudden we notice a figure appear in the gloaming so we walk over to 'ave a
look and shiver me timbers if it ain't 'is 'onor 'imself! I got all googly eyed
and weak in the knees so I 'id behind the Scots' kilts and hyperventilated.
Bloody 'ell, it don't get no better than that, do it?
The old sod ('e was about 50 or so then) had just led a right chossy 'orror
show which I recall 'e 'ad put up. Did I mention it was also 'misting'?
'e had about 7 or 8 wee nuts left on 'is rack and when 'is second arrived 'e
'anded Joe the 4 or 5 'e'd used for both the belay and the pitch!
'e was a right regular bloke I tell ya, no airs whatsoever. I still get chills.

Jan 20, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
That would have been about 1980. E's 80 noo.

Where the present day began.

Joe reportedly was born in 30. In Manks.

The last of seven children. Would be fascinating to learn more about his siblings.

From Joe's site:

Joe Brown - 1990 onwards
Since 1990 he has by no means stopped climbing. He still climbs, although not so regularly since he passed 70, and still has a thirst for cliff exploration and new routing. For the past decade he has visited Spain (mainly the Benidorm area) and Morocco frequently. But the popular sports climbing routes hold little in the way of excitement as the line is pre-determined. His love is to follow a natural line on a large cliff, and almost all his climbing has been on new multi-pitch routes up to 1000ft. in length, often at around 5a standard, although he can still climb the odd 5b pitches if no easier option presents itself. These routes, done with friends of long standing, such as Claude Davies, Les Brown, Pete Turnbull, and Derek Walker, are often not written up (Although Claude Davies has recently published a guide to Morocco), and have left with no visible trace of their passage so others can rediscover them in the future. Locally his most recent first ascent was when he seconded Davy Jones on The Last of the Summer Wine (E4, 5b5a,5b,5b/c) on Red Wall at Gogarth, in the autumn of 1999.

In Britain he has over the years also had fun skateboarding and at one point got into white water rafting. Fishing, particularly fly-fishing has long been a major hobby; a collapsible fishing rod has accompanied him on most expeditions. Until 1995 he also personally made some of the Joe Brown harnesses and climbing tapes sold in the Joe Brown shops! The one thing he has always shunned is any form of self-publicity, giving lectures or after dinner speeches.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 20, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
Sorry, meant to say '78.

Jan 20, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
If anyone missed Reilly's post of greatness above, here's another chance.

The Wedge

Boulder climber
Santa Rosa & Bishop, CA
Jan 20, 2011 - 04:20pm PT
This tread is long overdue. Joe is my hero.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 20, 2011 - 04:26pm PT
You might enjoy this thread...

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jan 20, 2011 - 07:25pm PT
Big hero for me as a lad as well!! :)
Excerpts from Tom Patey's "The Legend of Joe Brown" quoted from memory, I remember there was more...:)

Like a human spider clinging to the wall,
suction, faith, and friction, nothing else at all...

Watch him grin when the holds are thin,
on the overhanging wall, he's known by every nig-nog as the man who'll never fall...

But the secret to his success is his most amazing knack,
of hanging from a fist jam, in the over-hanging crack...

John Morton

Jan 20, 2011 - 10:21pm PT
My favorite JB photo:
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 20, 2011 - 11:21pm PT
That is a howler!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 20, 2011 - 11:24pm PT
Congrats to Joe - well deserved!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 21, 2011 - 12:58am PT
LEB 61 - Joe Brown 16?


As Joe so poetically noted in 'is book, "Up your hooter, Bloodymir!"
Modesto Mutant

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 21, 2011 - 02:53am PT
3 cheers for Handjam Joe!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 21, 2011 - 10:29am PT
Ta mate! I'd missed that 'un, nice. Yeah, always thought it was cheating to give advice, too. LOL!
What 'e must think o' these 'ere sport climbers with a bolt every 6', eh?

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jan 21, 2011 - 01:35pm PT
bump for a great climber
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