A tall, boisterous, extremely articulate man – lecturer, mountaineer and inspiration.
Paul’s wife and family entrusted his extensive photographic collection of some 17,500 images to the club for safe keeping in 2006. Paul died on 6 August 1995 by a freak serac fall at 5800m, on Haramosh II in the Karakoram, descending following a first ascent of the mountain.
President of the British Mountaineering Council, Paul had served on just about every important committee within the climbing world He had a huge inventory of climbs and expeditions including trips with Chris Bonington, making the first ascent of Rangrik Rang and the third ascent of Manirang.
Paul had an early passion for the outdoors, fired by the Boy Scout movement he was introduced to hill walking and rock climbing on the gritstone of the Peak District at the age of twelve. From this introduction he never looked back, making frequent forays beyond the Peak District to the Lake District and Wales. Paul joined the Alpha Club and so began new partnerships and friendships, which produced a string of hard routes in the Peak District and beyond.
As a climber Paul was influenced at an early stage by Tom Patey, they were both restless spirits, feverish almost in their pursuit of new challenges. Paul sought new routes, which ranged from Cheddar to Cape Wrath with lots in between. Paul was neat and precise on rock, his technique honed by years of gritstone and limestone pioneering. During the 1960s Paul never missed a season in the Alps and quickly established his reputation as a mountaineer. In the 1970s he was invited to join a succession of international expeditions, which continued into later decades, as the Karakoram became a spiritual home.
His wily, shrewd judgments made him the safest of climbers, possibly even depriving him of success on some expeditions, though in the last few years he had redressed the balance with some fine first ascents. This included his expedition with Chris Bonington and Ha-ish Kapadia. making the first ascent of Rangrik Rang, and shortly afterwards, the third ascent of Manirang.
He graduated in Economic History at Sheffield University, and after a short spell teaching in a girls’ school in Buxton, became a lecturer in Economic History at Sheffield Polytechnic (now Hallam University), where he worked for the rest of his life.
He contributed to all the main magazines and international alpine journals. In particular, his book reviews were always so refreshing to read. He was a leading contributor to the influential Mountain magazine from its inception. His balanced views helped the founding editor raise the standards of mountain journalism to new heights.
A Constable Guide: Rock Climbing In The Peak District
Climbing: Fawcett Ron, Lowe Jeff, Nunn Paul, Rouse Alan
Published by Bell And Hyman (1986)
Essays as collected in At the Sharp End (1987)
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