Terry Taylor

12/10/2014

Terry Taylor

Regional Rep based in Snowdonia. Runs local rambles.

Born in Mansfield, Notts, I grew up in the northern outskirts of Bristol.
Much like most boys at that time, I made the most of all the opportunities to have the “Boy’s Own Adventures” that were waiting, there on my door-step. Camping, making fires, scrumping, we had such fun.! It was perfect for ‘exploring’ woods, and ‘haunted houses’, and finding out what was over the next hill.
Via the Cubs, and later Scouts, I widened my horizons to hiking in the Bristol area, on the Cotswold and Mendip Hills. Inevitably, this led to bigger things, when the opportunity to try Rock-climbing came up within the Bristol Scouts Area. I signed up instantly!

This was to be, at the time, perhaps the crucial point in my life. I was still at school,and with no idea of what I wanted to do, after that. I was to discover that the rock-climbing was to be run by one of the Teachers at my own school, and that he was also worked as a Climbing Instructor in the Alps, during the Summer Holidays, for the Mountaineering Association (MA).
Suffice to say, I loved the Rock-Climbing, and must have asked him ‘endless’ questions. Imagine my surprise, when I found out that you could get paid to take others climbing. I had already discovered, by then, that this was exactly what I wanted to do, ‘to take others out climbing’, with no idea that people would pay you for doing it.!! Money had never been my priority!

From then on, that became my ‘Number One Objective’.I was, by then, a Civil Servant, in the Ministry of Works, a so-called “job for life”.
I meticulously worked out how to best organise the Annual Leave-Bank Holidays balance, so that I could maximise my time in the Mountains.This enabled me,in 1962, to visit the Alps for the first time, for two weeks (which became a month!) in the Oetztal, Austria. I was immediately ‘hooked’, needless to say.

In 1965, I realised my long-term ambition of working as a Climbing Instructor in the Alps,for the MA, spending two months in the Austrian and Swiss Alps, and coming back fitter than I’d ever been in my whole life!

Then came 10.10.65……when my life changed drastically, FOR EVER.!
Sunday afternoon, October 10th, a lovely sunny day on Clogwyn d’ur Arrddu, one of the biggest cliffs in Wales. Having just done a hard route on the East Buttress,we’ve decide to finish on “Pinnacle Flake” to get to the top of the cliff. Not to be, I’m afraid! I have a big fall, and my rope mate is killed (I find out later.!) I barely survive, with numerous fractures and injuries, after the 350ft free-fall!
It was the end of my climbing career,…….for quite a while! Once it fully dawned on me, that I was going to survive,I thought, “I might as well give it a try.! I then started exercising, in the Winford Orthopaedic Hospital, just outside Bristol, and later, at the ‘Gorge’.

I resumed my life as a Climbing Instructor on my birthday, April 1, 1967, in Snowdonia. A cold and snowy day, but for me it was Sunny!
Life went on, I continued to climb all year round, and in Sept ’68 I met Celia,on a rock-climbing course, in the Lakes. She quickly became the
‘Love-of-my-Life’/”Guardian Angel.” We got married in March ’69!

In 1974, I put things ‘on the line’, by deciding I needed to become a member of the British Mountain Guides. as Govt. Regulations began to tighten up. Having done this since 1965, I was terrified of ‘failing’ the the tough examinations.
But, I didn’t fail!! I was now a proud member of the British Mountain Guides! A ‘real’ Professional, at last! Another crucial step in my ‘Life as a Guide,’ on a par with Guides elsewhere in Europe, as equal members of UIAGM (International Union of Mountain Guides Associations.)

Thus started my Alpine Guiding career, which continued up to 2004, when serious knee problems ‘forced’ me to ‘retire’ as a Guide. After
39 fantastic years, were ended by a knee replacement, though I did continue to ‘climb for fun’ with friends, and former clients.

My ‘worst’ (and final?) blow came on New Year’s Day,2009, when I suffered a catastrophic stroke, ‘out of the blue’. But, it didn’t kill me, I’m (now!) pleased to say. Yes, it has changed our lives completely, but I have discovered a ‘New Life’, which I can enjoy with the support
of my ‘True Friends.’

PS. In November 2013, I was made an Honorary British Mountain Guide, which pleased me greatly, of course. “Best night of my life!” It was my “Life of Fun.”

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