Interview by Melanie Windridge
Colonel Henry Day, past Vice President of the Club and past Chairman of the MEF, discusses his early climbing and the first British ascent of Annapurna fifty years ago.
How did you get into climbing?
It was one particular year at school (I can’t remember which) after we finished our summer exams. We didn’t used to be allowed to go home after the exams, so they dreamt up entertainment for us. By the time the list reached me the only vacancies that were left were on a trip going up in the old school bus to North Wales. And it was a revelation! We stayed at Helyg. That first evening we walked out to Little Tryfan. The masters put top ropes up. We bounded up and down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The next day we did one of the pinnacle ribs up on Tryfan and I remember jumping across from the top of Adam to the top of Eve. The whole thing was absolutely marvellous!
One thing led to another and onto the Alps. I was hooked! One thing we saw [on an early trip] was the Miroir d’Argentine, and that’s still on my list of routes I have to do. It’s been suggested I do this on the year of my 80th birthday, which is coming up.