Patey Tom

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Patey Tomas W. „Tom“ Dr., * Ellon-Aberdeen, (Schottland),später Aberdeen, Ullapool
+ Abseilen vom The Maiden (Ullapool,Sutherland-Küste)
Er kletterte ausgiebig in Schottland sowie schwere Touren in den Alpen und dem Karakorum.
1956 1.Best.Mustagh Tower Hauptgipfel,7273m, (Karakorum)
1957 1.Winterbest.Ben Nevis „Zero Gully“,85°,300 HN 1345m, (Schottland)
1958 1.Best.Rakaposhi,7788m, (Karakorum,Pakistan)
1958 1.Beg.Ben Nevis-Zero Gully,85°,300 HN,1345m, (Schottland)
1959 1.Beg.Point Five Gully, (Schottland)
1960 1.Winterbeg.Store Trolltind „Fiva-Route”, (Norwegen)
1963 1.Beg.Aiguille du Plan-Direkte Westwand,V+,700 HM,3673m, (Montblancgebiet)
1963 1.Beg.Aiguille Sans Nom-Nordwestwand „Brown-Patey-Führe“,VI,1100 HM,3982m,
1964 1.Beg.Aiguille de Leschaux-Westwand und Südwestgrat,V/A0,650 HM,3759m,
1964 Beg.Vers.Eiger-Nordwand,3970m, (Berner Alpen)
1965 Winterüberschr.Cuillin Ridge, (Cuillin Kamm),992m, (Schottland)
1966 1.Beg.Old Man of Hoy-Ostwand „Normalführe“,V,137m,
(Westküste der orkadischen Insel Hoy in Schottland)
1968 1.Beg.Buachaille „Patey-Clough-Führe“, (Küste von Sutherland)
1.Beg.Eagl-Ridge, (Cain Gorms)
Gerd Schauer, Isny im Allgäu

Tom Patey 1932-1970
Climbing history is made by individual men, small in number, who have imagination and the vigour to carry ideas into effect. Tom Patey was one of these men, and the first sign of it was his climbing the Douglas Gully of Lochnagar in December 1950. His ascent of the 200-ft terminal wall when plastered in snow-ice ushered in a new era of winter climbing on routes hitherto thought to belong only to the rock specialist. He was eighteen, and had started his career where MacKenzie and I, who had been making ice-routes in Scotland during the period 1936-50, left off.
My future winter climbs with Patey, although few, were salutary: they made me realise that my contemporaries and I had likewise taken our predecessors' (Graham Macphee and others') topmost level as a base from which to advance without giving it thought. The heightening standards of the 50s showed at first not so much in what was done as in the pace at which it was done, and less in changes of technique than in confidence. All of us who have done long, new routes know how greatly times are reduced on subsequent ascents, when psychological barriers are down. We know what is wanted and do it faster. Something of the kind applies from one generation to another.
Tom Patey was born in 1932 and went to school at Gordon's College, Aberdeen. His father had started him hill-walking at an early age. When sixteen he began rock and ice climbing through reading Mountaineering in Scotland. He went to Aberdeen University, graduated M.B., Ch.B., and was commissioned to the Royal Marine Commandos as Lt-Surgeon. He married Betty Davidson, by whom he had three children. In 1961 he entered general practice at Ullapool in Wester Ross.
Prior to 1950, the Cairngorms had been neglected as a climbing ground. During the next eight years, a spate of long, hard routes, winter and summer, were made there by Patey and Bill Brooker, and by the rapidly growing number of fine climbers inspired by their example, until the Cairngorms had more rock-climbs than Skye. The importance of the Cairngorms in Patey's development as a mountaineer cannot be overstressed. They were to shape his whole attitude to mountains and to make him the best all-round mountaineer that Scotland has yet produced. He wrote of these years: 'The magic of a great route does not lie in its technical difficulties, or even in the excellence of the rock, but is something less readily definable-atmosphere is the term generally applied. A route should fulfil an honest purpose: it should follow a natural line of weakness up a natural obstacle and reach a logical conclusion. There are many so-called routes whose conception would not tax the mental facultie of an ape.... In the Cairngorms, the climber's mental horizon is wider ... loose rock is a natural hazard, which may be safely negotiated by a leader not lacking guile and judgment. I confess to finding the impeccable gabbro of Sron na Ciche pretty dull fare. The rock is too good.'
Patey's particular genius developed as a quick, keen eye for a route. His flair was a triple one: for a new route, for the detail of pitch-selection, and for the right general line over a big face. Thus a phenomenal feature of Scottish climbing over the next twenty years became the deluge of Patey's new routes. Nothing like his output, so long sustained or in such volume, had before been seen. I have space to speak only of one-Zero Gully of Ben Nevis, done with MacInnes and Nicol in 1956. I had reconnoitred that route in 1939, concluding that the initial 400 ft of green ice overhangs were not possible, and that Point Five, its near neighbour, would go only in perfect conditions. These ideas were, for me, confirmed when strong parties (one including Joe Brown) fell out of both gullies. The ascent of Zero in only five hours was a big breakthrough
in Nevis climbing.
Patey appeared in the Alp in 1951, aged nineteen, when he climbed seven or eight Chamonix peak by classic routes. Between 1953 and 1955 he moved on to many of the harder climbs, quickly developing a en sitive nose for the Alpine atmosphere. Thus, on the North face of Aiguille du Plan, hw decided on the upper part that conditions were 'ripe', and at once diverged from the main glacier on to the iced rocks of the Aiguille des Deux Aigles. He was instantly justified by a colossal avalanche.
Patey had become a master of his craft, and no list of climbs done could convey the dynamic enthusiasm of the man, or the competence he emanated on hard rock and ice. I had recommended him to John Hunt for the Everest expedition of 1953, when he was reckoned too young. In 1956, John Hartog invited him to the Muztagh Tower, and no other challenge could so well have suited his philosophy-a Himalayan peak chosen for difficulty, not altitude. Their successful a cent marked a progress in the Himalayan story. In 1958 he climbed Rakaposhi, 25,550 ft, and in 1959 and 1960 made first winter ascents in Norway on Snoletta and the East ridge of Bispen, and spent twentynine hours on the Trolltinder Wall (Five Route). These events, his service duties, and his withdrawal from the Commandos to set up in general practice at Ullapool, delayed for eight years his return to the Alps-greatly to the benefit of rock and ice climbing in the N.W. Highlands, which he opened up in ways not before imagined.
His arrival back in the Alps in 1963 was for Patey a joyful occasion. He wrote to me enthusiastically of some thirty routes he had spotted, all crying out to be done. He teamed up with Joe Brown and made three first ascents: the Northwest spur of the Aiguille Sans Nom, 3000 ft of hard ice pitches and grade VI rock; the West face of the Aiguille du Midi by the Frendo Spur; and a new direct finish of 600 ft to the Greloz-Roch route of the Aiguille du Plan. He then went with Don Whillans to the Eiger Nordwand, but they turned back from the second ice-field in worsening weather.
Since 1961, Patey had been increasingly climbing solo to high standards in Scotland, partly through lack of companions at Ullapool. 'Good climbing and good company go together', he said, 'each is essential to the enjoyment of the other.' But solo work grew on him, and benefits showed on some of his last great climbs. In 1965 he made the first winter traverse of the Cuillin Main Ridge in two days, climbing unroped with MacInnes and others. This, he declared, was the greatest single adventure in British mountaineering. In 1968 with MacInnes he made the first ascent of the Aiguille Rouge de Rochefort by the South wall and South-east arete, 3000 ft (V-VI). In March 1969, he made solo the girdle traverse in winter of Coire Ardair, 8000 ft of extraordinary exposure (IV), almost incredibly in five hours. Later that year, he and MacInnes climbed the Mont Rouge de Peuterey by the South-east face, 3500 ft (V-VI) in 4 1/2 hours unroped, following a new route done by Pete Crewe and Joe Brown in 10 1/2 hours. He was planning for 1970 a solo ascent of the Eiger Nordwand, but his last Alpine season had gone.
In preceding years he had been making first ascents on sea-stacks-the Old Man of Hoy and several others, for they gave spectacular fun posing problems of approach. On 25 May 1970, he made his final climb on the Maidens, off Whiten Head on the Sutherland coast. He was roping down using a descendeur when somehow the gate of his snaplink opened, and he fell.
Tom Patey had considerable gifts for more than mountains-for friendship, medicine, writing, music and song. Medicine was not for Tom merely a way of earning money to climb, and the people of Ullapool have testified to that in plain terms. He alone of the post-war generation of Scottish climbers displayed an unmistakable talent for writing. Shortly before his death he had begun his autobiography. In all ways, our loss has been more than we can know.
Bill Murray
Quelle: Alpine Journal Volume 76, 1971, Seite 331-336

Patey Tomas W. „Tom“ Dr., * Ellon-Aberdeen, (Schottland),später Aberdeen, Ullapool
+ Abseilen vom The Maiden (Ullapool,Sutherland-Küste)

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