Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Book review: Jerry Moffatt's Revelations


The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. A pretty apt analogy for Jerry Moffatt's high-flying career, reaching the upper echelons of rock climbing renown and staying there for a great deal of the 80s and 90s. A career spanning eighth grade boulder problems, sport routes and trad climbs. A career that helped define hard climbing in the UK and the rest of the world. A career that took Jerry around the globe, into the company of best climbers of their generation, and to the top of the competition ladder. 


A career that one day came to a seemingly abrupt end, when pushing the limits was no longer an option, and neither was slowly sliding away from the top tier of international rock climbing - the inevitable downward spiral that runs parallel to an advancing age. Get in, conquer the world of rock climbing, and get out.

Immediately after finishing Revelations, the Jerry Moffatt autobiography, I sat down to write this review. As a rock climber, I found Jerry's stories hugely inspiring. In the week or so it has taken me to pour through the book, snatching a chapter during my lunch break, or a few pages in the morning before work, I have found renewed enthusiasm and motivation for training and getting out climbing as often as possible. He was a true pioneer, pushing the standards of trad, sport and bouldering. His training drive is infectious, leaking from the page and into my own life. 

It is also fascinating to read the stories behind boulder problems and routes I have heard and read about online, through repeats from world class climbers throughout the noughties, when my own climbing career began. Learning the effort it took to establish climbs such as Liquid Amber, for example, is an inspiration.

The book is, for the most part, a chronological sequence of stories that span Jerry's introduction to rock climbing through to his transition into work and surf. I would highly recommend it, if you haven't read it already. I should've done so myself a long time ago. 

To purchase a copy visit Vertebrate Publishing.