Wednesday, 29 May 2019 15:55

Montane to support GB Para climber on 1st blind ascent of Old Man of Hoy

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Jesse Dufton is a member of the GB Paraclimbing Team. He is also blind, and won the 2018 National Indoor Climbing Championships (B1 Category).

A highly experienced climber and mountaineer, Jesse has climbed since he was young, and now leads trad* with the help of Molly his partner, who acts as his route reader and sight guide.  In 2017 he was part of an expedition into Arctic Greenland, ski-touring for a month across the Roslin and Bjørnbo Glacier and achieving 2 first ascents in the process, in the process becoming the first blind man to climb first ascents in Greenland.

Hoy 1Jesse finding the crucial hidden hold on Great Western (HVS 5a) at Almscliff.  Easier for him than most – all holds are hidden to Jesse.

On the 4th June 2019, Jesse hopes to lead the first blind ascent of the iconic Old Man of Hoy – a 137m sea stack on Hoy, part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland.  It is one of the tallest stacks in Britain, carved from its surrounding headland by the North Sea some time after 1750, but its Old Red Sandstone wasn’t climbed until Sir Chris Bonnington’s team in 1966. 

"It's great that Montane are supporting my push to lead the Old Man of Hoy, it's an iconic route and I can't wait to get started!"

  • Jesse Dufton, GB Para Climber & Mountaineer


Hoy 2Jesse Dufton climbing The Sloth (HVS 5a) at The Roaches – described as “…simply incomparable to anything else I’ve seen in climbing” by Neil Gresham.

The ascent is to be the subject of a film by the renowned Alastair lee of Posing Productions, which will be shown as part of the Brit Rock Film Tour 2019 – a curation of the best new climbing films featuring some of the country’s most popular climbers.

“It is inspiring enough that Jesse climbs at a high standard but most impressively Jesse leads trad routes, yes you read correctly he climbs on sight trad with no sight. Mind blown. I am very excited about this filming project for Brit Rock 2019.”

  • Alastair Lee, Posing Productions & Brit Rock Film Tour

Montane will be giving regular updates about the project via our website and social media.