Trip Report
Moonraker Film - Pat Littlejohn and Peter Biven's first ascent of The Old Redoubt
Wednesday December 6, 2017 1:51pm
Greetings from a very rainy Devon in the UK!

I was lucky enough last Easter to have the opportunity to interview Pat Littlejohn. We sat down and talked early days. On the subject of Moonraker, I sat transfixed as Pat jumped back in time to his school holidays of 1967 and recalled the excitement of the route, the influence upon him of members of the Exeter Climbing Club and his feelings about Pete. At the end of this, Pat mentioned that he was really keen to climb Moonraker again on the fifth of August; the fiftieth. A discussion about a possible film project ensued.

Pat Littlejohn during an early repeat of Moonraker
Pat Littlejohn during an early repeat of Moonraker
Credit: James Mann

A chance meeting with legendary photographer, John Cleare revealed that there were many images of Peter Biven from the cliff and that he would allow me to use them.

Pat contacted Peterís 16 year old granddaughter, Anna and asked if she was keen. She agreed and exactly fifty years to the hour after the first ascent, a Biven/Littlejohn team traversed down once more into The Great Cave. This film follows Pat back in time to his early climbing career in Devon and Anna dipping her toe for the first time into her famous grandfatherís footsteps. I should mention also that this was Annaís first time on a sea-cliff and only her second time trad climbing!

Enjoy the film!

James Mann

For those who enjoyed this, here is a link to a more detailed article on UK Climbing


  Trip Report Views: 1,204
James Mann
About the Author
I have been involved in climbing and mountaineering for most of my life. Photography has always been a passion and since a serious injury in 2015, has taken a more prominent place in my climbing life. I am currently working on a climbing history of Devon and Cornwall, so to combine this kind of story with film-making is a fantastic! Sea cliffs are a real passion, which is fortunate as we have a lot of them down here!

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Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Dec 6, 2017 - 08:14pm PT
FANTASTIC walk down memory lane, one of the most enjoyable TR I have seen on ST with some classic scenes of early cliff climbing on the SW coast of England.
Dennis Hennek

  Dec 6, 2017 - 10:22pm PT
The Brits sure know how to have an adventure.
A beautiful film and historical story.
Kudos to the entire crew.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Dec 7, 2017 - 08:21am PT
Wow! Inspiring stuff from past hardmen.-lars
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
  Dec 7, 2017 - 10:57am PT
Thanks for your great video, James.
John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
  Dec 7, 2017 - 11:49am PT
A wonderful look back in history and story telling! Thanks for sharing.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Dec 7, 2017 - 12:05pm PT

James Mann

Trad climber
uk Devon
Author's Reply  Dec 7, 2017 - 12:28pm PT
Thanks very much for all of your kind words. It was a lot of fun to make and fantastic to see all of the images from the sixties and be able to share them. We are so lucky here in the South West to have a rich history of characters and such variety of climbing from limestone sport, trad and deep water soloing, granite bouldering and outcrop routes to big sea cliffs of granite, pillow lava, schist, slate and greenstone. All of this is between 15 and 90 mins from home. A fantastic place to vary your climbing diet. If only we had a little more guaranteed dry weather!

Social climber
  Dec 7, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
hey there say, james!!! say, thank you for a neat trip report!!!

Social climber
  Dec 7, 2017 - 04:04pm PT
hey there say, ... wow, also loved the comment above, too...

thanks for adding all that, too...
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Dec 11, 2017 - 02:51pm PT
Well now, that was an acceptable level of awesome! Way cool film, folks, thanks for putting this together and posting it up here.
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