Roger joined the MAM via the University of Birmingham Mountaineering Club. He soon demonstrated his preferred type of climbing by doing, among other things, the third winter ascent of Zero Gully on Ben Nevis with fellow student Mal Cochrane, this in the days before modern ice tools had been invented; one handed overhead step cutting all the way. Some good seasons in Switzerland and at Chamonix followed. While working on his PhD in the Geology Department he spent eight months in south and east Greenland and after moving to Cambridge he visited Greenland again and went on or led expeditions to Spitzbergen. In all he notched up 30 mountain first ascents in these two areas.


He then moved to Canada, working as a geologist. In the 1960s in the Rockies and other ranges of Alberta and British Columbia there were a number of unclimbed peaks and barely explored areas; in fact, there still are. Besides exploring and climbing some of these Roger did many of the major Rockies peaks, some of these even today being coveted ascents. Then came the Mount St Elias area of the Yukon. Together with parts of Alaska there are still unclimbed peaks of over 14,000 feet here. Since Roger’s Toronto team have been visiting the number of unclimbed ones, both large and small, is a lot less and other peaks have had second or third ascents by new routes


He has become an acknowledged authority on the Mount St Elias region and is the author of the definitive listing of all Yukon and Alaskan peaks over 3,600 metres. For his exploratory work and list of mountain first ascents (a total of 60 in all parts of Canada) he has received the Alpine Club of Canada’s highest awards and has published frequently in the Alpine Journal, the Journal of the Alpine Club of Canada, the Journal of the American Alpine Club and, most of all, the MAM Journal. Unsurprisingly, he is a fountain of knowledge about Canadian climbing; if anyone wants information when planning a trip there you have only to ask!




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