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Don Whillan’s Last Climb, the Film

Don Whillan’s Last Climb was produced in 1984. Watch as he climbs with Joe Brown up a route they made the first ascent of 32 years before filming.

Don Whillans, was a leading climber of his generation. He met Joe Brown in 1951 and they became good friends.

Whillans climbed the Bonatti Pillar of the Dru and made the first ascent, along with Chris Bonington, Jan Długosz and Ian Clough of the Central Pillar of Freney on Mount Blanc.

In 1962, with Chris Bonington, Whillans made the first ascent of the Central Tower of Paine, Patagonia. Later, with Dougal Haston, he made the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna.

Whillans was known for his humour, safety and heavy drinking. The British Mountaineering council have named a hut in his honour.

In 2005, Jim Perrin released a book titled The Villain: the life of Don Whillans. If you are looking for a good read from the era of Whillans, pick up One Man’s Mountains by Tom Patey, considered by many to be one of the best books about climbing.

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