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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
John Fantini 25-Aug-2007 At 10:05:45 AM oweng
Here is an extract from Simon Parsons Interview

The full interview is on this site (in the articles section)

Q: Can you tell us a little about some of your alpine ascents? From Mt Cook in New Zealand, to the likes of Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Cerro Torre in Patagonia and the North Face of the Eiger to mention but a few. How did these incredible feats come about? Were they self funded? Were did you get the motivation and inspiration?

I had always wanted to be an all-round climber, probably because I came to climbing from bushwalking. I have always been self-funded, shunning the idea of publicity to get money. I have never considered myself worthy of sponsorship, simply because there are so many climbers better than me. I first went to the NZ Alps in 1985. John Fantini was there, in his prime. Glen Tempest and some buddies were going to do Mt Cook via Zurbriggens. John showed me how to strap on crampons the day before. I soloed Zurbriggens initially behind Glen and his friends, but got to the top first by myself. Fantastic. On the way up I was cramponing up the gully to the summit rocks and the guy in front suddenly fell off and started rocketing down the gully towards huge ice cliffs. He arrested beautifully and prompted clawed his way onwards to the summit. It was a brief but amazing event. No words were spoken.

I always found the mountains scary, but persevered and did some very good routes, like the Balfour Face of Tasman and Eiger. You just have to be determined and know when to go up and when to go down. John Fantini for all his talents was not a good teacher. I remember we went to NZ one winter and did an excellent new route on the West Face of Dixon. He expected me to solo everything and at one point on about 70 degree ice I yelled out to John,' how about a rope'. He replied,' You f...g whimp, its not even vertical yet.' I for many years felt inadequate as a mountaineer after such an introduction, but later realized my expectations were not unrealistic! John refused to use ropes on glaciers and again I thought it was my problem at the time!

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