Statement of Youth: The Birth of British Sport Climbing

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The 1980’s saw climbing standards rise exponentially. At the start of the decade, 7b+ was cutting edge, but by the end of the ’80s, 9a was the new world standard. By the end of the decade, the sport had changed beyond recognition and a paradigm was set for future generations.

A small group of climbers would do anything to climb full-time: sleeping in sheds underneath crags, shoplifting for food and clothes, and living off the dole. These climbers were living outside the rest of society and went on to become the most influential figures in the history of British climbing.

A UKClimbing film directed by Nick Brown and supported by BMC TV, Boreal and Wild Country.


Jerry Moffatt
Ben Moon
Chris Gore
Andy Pollitt
Martin ‘Basher’ Atkinson
Mark ‘Zippy’ Pretty
Craig Smith
Steve Lewis
Mark Leach
Ed Douglas


boldering says:

One of the best historical climbing movies I've seen, if not the best. Well done, good to see Hubble with the proper number after it as well.

Karl Schinkovits says:

Restdays are shitdays

Ecce Homer says:

Though I never reached anywhere near their level, these were the guys who inspired me to climb in the early nineties.
Thanks guys.
RIP Andy.

soke pokey says:

that was cracking…… really enjoyed that…

101deepak101 says:

How has this only got 300 likes.. Great film

David Pleydell says:

Great film! Awesome achievements! Inspiration! But kinda funny how the film only talked about the French, whilst the Germans (Wolfgang & Kurt), Jerry's winters training in the Frakunjura and the early developments of the campus board (outlined in Jerry's book) don't get a mention.

Dominic says:

How surprised I was to click on this and hear The Mob's Another Day Another Death. – AMAZING

erickate6969 says:

Great documentary .

John Doe says:

Al Rouse's place in Sheffield was a bit more up market. But a lot of the guys in this piece showed up for parties and of course the chance of a free beer. We called them "the stick Men" and they were the future of sport climbing in the UK. But they always knew that what they were doing was LOW RISK. At the worst a torn finger tendon. Some of us were built like them but 3 inches taller and 15 pounds of muscle heavier. Johnie Dawes was an exception. Small, introverted, wore a tweed jacket to parties while we were possibly almost naked to the waist. But these guys set the future for the sport in the UK. "Basher" became head dude in "Wild country". Good luck to all you guys, the French cannot always win.

Matthew Kelly says:

Best I've seen in years. Fukkin ellll!!!!

Sean Ferrell says:

Great film! Wow! One of my favorite climbing films I've ever seen. I would have paid to go to a showing of this. Loved learning more about this history, loved the cast of rogues, and find myself filled with gratitude that I never lived in an apartment quite that shitty.

Jason Riley says:

Such an amazing film. Glory days for sure.

Susanne Williams #BushcraftGirl #VikingGirl says:

Wow fantastic! Love this film. I was in Manchester from 1988. High Times.

GreyWolfClimber says:

SOOO fucking great!

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