The Passing of a Great Lakeland Pioneer

One of the great characters of Lakeland climbing has died. Ray McHaffie was probably the most prolific new router ever, in Borrowdale. Living in Keswick and not having a driving licence obviously contributed to his dedication for the valley.

One of his greatest early contributions was 'The Niche' on Falcon Crag, climbed with Adrian Liddell in 1962. By the early seventies the routes were coming thick and fast with a least one a week! There was hardly any let up through the 80s and the early 90s as he climbed with just about every aspiring new router that wandered onto his patch. He had an uncanny knack of turning up at the crag just as you were about to launch off on a first ascent and tell you everything about the line you had just spent the last 3 days cleaning.

By they late 90s he was still climbing but now with his very talented son, James. They teamed up for several new routes.

Most people will remember Mac as someone who would always talk to you and never seemed to get caught up with the petty politics of climbing. He was a product of his era and his passing marks the end of that great period of development in Borrowdale which will never be seen again.

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