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What is a Climbing Wall

Bildering And Bilderers
Geoffrey Windthrop Young
Arthur Pinner

First True Climbing Structure
Clark Schurman
Camp Long

Post War Development

1960's Boom
Britians First Climbing Walls

1970's Development

Climbing Wall Manufacturers
Bendcrete Climbing Walls
DR Climbing Walls

University Walls
Brunel University
Spire Rock
University of Washington

The 1980's Wall Development
The invention of the bolt on Hold

First Commercial Climbing Centre
Vertical, In Seattle
Mile End, London

The 1990's Beginning of the Golden Age

21st Century Climbing Walls and the Future

Geoffrey Winthrop Young D.Litt. (1876 – 1958) was a British climber, poet and educator, and author of several notable books on mountaineering. Educated at Marlborough, Young began rock climbing shortly before his first term at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied Classics and won the Chancellor's Medal for English Verse two years running,


Cambridge and The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity
While at Trinity College, Cambridge, he developed a love of mountaineering. Whilst at Cambridge Young wrote a humorous college climbing guide called The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity, in part a parody of early alpine guidebooks, in part a useful reference work for those, like him, who were keen to clamber up Cambridge's highest spires, He was also a talented poet and won the Chancellor's Medal for English Verse at university.

Alpine Climbs
In 1909 Young met George Mallory. The two men became close friends and that summer they climbed together in the Alps. Young also climbed the Brouillard ridge of Mont Blanc and made the first complete traverse of the west ridge of the Grandes Jorasses. In 1913 Young was elected president of the Climbers' Club. When George Mallory married Ruth Turner on 29th July 1914, Geoffrey Winthrop Young.

First World War
On the outbreak of the First World War a few months later, Young became a journalist with The Daily News. Young was a pacifist and was a strong opponent of the conflict. However, when faced with the tragic consequences of the war, he resigned as a war correspondent and joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit at Ypres. This involved transporting both casualties and refugees away from the Western Front. In 1917 Young went to Italy to establish an ambulance service in the mountains of the Italian-Austrian front. On 31st August he was hit by an Austrian shell. His left leg was so badly wounded that it had to be amputated at the knee. He then had to walk sixteen miles in two days to avoid being captured by the Austrian Army. On 16th September 1917, Young wrote to George Mallory that he was already planning to climb with an artificial leg: "Now I shall have the immense stimulus of a new start, with every little inch of progress a joy instead of a commonplace. I count on my great-hearts, like you, to share in the fun of that game with me."

Post War Career
After the war Young worked for the Rockefeller Foundation. He continued to climb with an artificial leg and over the next few years reached the summits of the Matterhorn and Zinal Rothorn. In 1920 Young published the 300-page manual of mountaineering instruction entitled Mountain Craft, to which Eckenstein and J. Norman Collie also contributed. The editor of the Alpine Club, John Percy Farrar, wrote to Young on the book's publication, saying: 'The book is magnificent ... It will be standard for so long as mankind is interested in mountaineering. The profound amount of work put into it staggers me.' Young also had a strong interest in education and along with his friends, George Mallory and David Pye, talked about opening their own progressive school. According to the authors of The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory (2000): "George Mallory went so far as to prepare a draft prospectus for the school." However, the death of Mallory while climbing Mount Everest in 1924 brought an end to this plan.

Later life and Death
n 1932 Young began lecturing on education at London University. He also joined the campaign to persuade Ramsay MacDonald to allow Kurt Hahn to enter the country in 1934. Later that year he helped Hahn establish the international school at Gordonstoun in Moray. The two men were also involved in the creation of Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and the Outward Bound movement.
Young was president of the Alpine Club from 1941 to 1944 and the main figure behind the founding of the British Mountaineering Council during the Second World War. Geoffrey Winthrop Young died at eighty-two in 1958.

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