Outdoor Focus Autumn 2017 - Page 4

Sir Chris Bonington, current OWPG president, commented: “I’ve known Walt for over fi fty years. Always kind and thoughtful, he has achieved and contributed so much to our knowledge and understanding of the climbing scene and life, as a magazine editor, as a writer particularly with his defi nitive history of Everest, and as a publisher. We owe him a huge amount for what he has done for our sport and will miss him as a wise and very good friend.” Tom Waghorn, outdoor journalist and a friend for over forty years, said: “He had a tremendous ability to discover talent, and as a canny businessman, he knew how to spot a gap in the market.” Kev Reynolds, who has written wrote more than twentyguides for Cicerone, said: “Walt was both my mentor and my friend. When I did my fi rst book for him – Walks and Climbs in the Pyrenees in 1978 – I had no idea that I would be able to make a living at it, but Walt encouraged me at every step.” John Manning, former colleague on The Great Outdoors and now editor of Lakeland Walker, said: “Walt was a towering fi gure in the outdoor writing world. When I worked at The Great Outdoors between 1994 and 2007, we referred to him as ‘Uncle Walt’ and regarded him as its founder.” Walt in the Alps “Father of outdoor writing” Walt’s National Service days Paddy Dillon, who has written seventy books for Cicerone, recalled: “Whenever I delivered a manuscript, Walt always used to say: ‘Never give a sucker an even break. That’s my motto.’ I’ve no complaints if he was directing that at me. He gave me his time and encouragement, while I was content to absorb whatever morsels of wisdom I could.” Roger Smith, former editor of The Great Outdoors, said: “Under a sometimes apparently gruff exterior Walt – who was also no mean climber himself – was a kindly man always willing to give advice to others.” 4 Outdoor focus | autumn 2017 Walt in China, 1995 “A mentor and a friend” Mark Richards, another of Walt’s protégées, said: “He was my guiding light – the man who gave me a start and encouraged my creativity. I’ll always be grateful to him.” Mark Richards’ pen portrait of Walt