Tony Moulam obituary | Mountaineering

My father, Tony Moulam, who died at the age of 94, was a pioneer in rock climbing and mountaineering.

Born in Derby, the son of Albert, a clock repairer, and Mabel (née Priestley), a housewife, he was rather a solitary child. Receive a bike for his 12and birthday, he cycled through the Peak District, which was the catalyst for a lifelong love of the outdoors. Tony was inspired by reading Let’s Go Climbing by Colin Kirkus while at school in Bemrose, and his expeditions soon focused on scrambling on Derbyshire gritstone.

A chance encounter with Peter Harding, an established climber, at Black Rocks in Cromford led to some serious climbing with hemp ropes. The pair have forged a long-standing partnership, tackling many climbs within the orbit of their bike rides and becoming adept at tougher sandstone routes. They used “hand jams”, necessary when the only feature is a crack in the rock, and my dad remembered introducing a young Joe Brown to this developing art of gritstone with Chris Bonington, who remembers Tony as “extremely important” in inspiring his passion. for climbing.

Volunteering for the army, Tony never saw active service but was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals. Assigned to Worcestershire, to Catterick and finally to Vienna, where he supervised the military telephone exchange, he took advantage of every opportunity to continue his ascent and took advantage of the encouragement of the army to explore the rocks and hills.

Tony Moulam made the first ascent in 1945 of a climb called Green Crack on the Black Rocks sandstone outcrop in Derbyshire

Demobilized in 1948, Tony, with Harding, published A Guide to Black Rocks and Cratcliffe Tor the following year. Tony’s exceptional memory meant he could recall intricate details of each route – invaluable to future climbers – a skill he retained until the end of his life.

Tony attended the University of Manchester from 1949 to 1951 and graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering. Thereafter, his climbing focused on North Wales, where he developed new routes and techniques in the Carneddau and Glyder Ranges. He made many first ascents, including Mur-y-Niwl on Craig yr Ysfa in 1952, and contributed significantly to British climbing, publishing guides to these areas and elsewhere.

Joining the Climbers’ Club in 1947, Tony was chairman from 1969 to 1972 and caretaker of two club huts: Cwm Glas Mawr and Helyg. In 1970 he was also chairman of the British Mountaineering Council, overseeing key negotiations with the Central Council of Physical Recreation.

He accepted a position with ICI in July 1952. Before starting, he had been invited by the Everest committee to join an expedition to climb Cho Oyu in early 1952 and a year later to attempt Everest , if “his efforts this year were to show him the value”. including in the party of 1953”. Refusing this invitation was perhaps his greatest regret.

He wrote articles about his adventures, and these are collected in a single publication.

Tony married Pauline (née Chapman), my mother, in 1956; they separated in 1984 and she died in 2020. In 1985 he met Annie Price, and they were in partnership until her death in 2017. He is survived by my brother Peter and I, and the children of Annie, Janice and Russell.