Jerry Moffatt goes back to school

21 June, 2011
Moffatt Bouldering Wall

Jerry Moffatt, once up there with the world's best rock climbers, returned to his former North Wales school to officially open a bouldering facility named after him.

Last Saturday, Jerry, who rarely climbs now and is much more likely to be spotted surfing, pulled his rock boots on to join 17 year-old St. Davids School Climbing Captain, Tim Muller, trying out a few problems on the three-and-a-half metre high wall.

Jerry recalled starting climbing as a fifteen year old whilst at St. Davids, just outside Llandudno, in the late seventies: "I used to cycle to Craig y Forwyn on Sunday's to meet up with Andy Politt, leaving the school at one in the afternoon and having to be back by six."

"Back then we never had a facility like this so we used to boulder on the limestone walls of the buildings. This new wall has all the angles you need to train to achieve the highest levels in climbing."

Built locally by the Beacon Climbing Centre, one of its directors, Steve Mayers also has strong links with the school as a former science teacher.

St. Davids is an independent school specialising in dyslexic education and is also one of if not, the leading UK school in delivering outdoor education on the curriculum. Head of Outdoor Education and well known slate activist, Ian Lloyd-Jones, said: "The ethos of the school is confidence built outside the classroom is transferred back into the classroom. We are always on the look-out for the next Jerry Moffatt climbing talent."

DMM was a main sponsor of Jerry's for about five years. One of the most significant new routes Jerry climbed was Liquid Ambar in 1990 on Llandudno's Great Orme and graded F8c. It's only had three other ascents since then and thought of as more likely being F8c+. Jerry's biography Revelations was published in 2009, winning the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival.