Jack Longland

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"Longland" redirects here. For other uses, see Longland (disambiguation).

Sir John Laurence "Jack" Longland (26 June 1905 – 29 November 1993) was an educator, mountain climber, and broadcaster.

He was educated at the King's School, Worcester, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He lectured in English at Durham University from 1930 to 1936. He then served as Director of Education for Derbyshire for 23 years, from 1949. Whilst Director, in 1950, he established the outdoor centre at Whitehall, near Buxton, one of the first of its kind in the UK.

He was President of the Cambridge University Mountaineering Club during a particularly productive era mid-war, and was later President of the British Mountaineering Council (1962-1965).

As a rock-climber, he was one of a group who opened up the harder grades, for instance with his 1928 ascent of Longland's Climb (VS) on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Snowdon. Several of these first ascents were made with Ivan Waller. He also made the first ascent of Javelin Blade on the Holly Tree Wall at Idwal in 1930. As the CUMC site records, at E1 5b, this was "An outstanding lead that stood as the most difficult piece of Welsh climbing for many years, though few were aware of it".

As a mountaineer, he is remembered for his heroic actions during the 1933 expedition to Mount Everest led by Hugh Ruttledge, in which he brought down 8 Sherpas from Camp 6 (above 27,000 ft) in a whiteout.

He was the chairman and occasional question-setter on the BBC radio panel game My Word! from 1957 to 1977.

He was a sometime member of the West Country team in Round Britain Quiz.


On climbing Javelin Blade...

"Quite frankly I'd lost my way. I'd come to the famous thread belay at the end of the first pitch of the normal route (Javelin Buttress VS), and I didn't know that the route ought to go right. I was a pole vaulter, which I think gives you pretty strong fingers, and I remember the pull-out onto the actual blade of the javelin was very strenuous; though not dangerous – I had a belay about 40 feet below me."

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