Pete Livesey

Pete Livesey (1943–1998) was a rock climber who raised the standard of difficulty in the sport in England during the 1970s. As one of the best climbers the United Kingdom has ever produced, he had an international reputation for hard routes and a professional training regime. He was one of the first climbers to implement a hard training regime, enabling him to ascend his difficult new routes such as Footless Crow (on Goat Crag in the Lake District) and Downhill Racer (at Froggatt in the Peak District). There is a certain irony in his first free ascent of Clink in 1972. As an avid reducer of aid in his climbing, Clink was retro -bolted in 2004.

Pete Livesey
Personal information

Livesey was not only a top rock climber but also a fell-runner, athlete, caver, canoeist and orienteer. He took up orienteering in his 40s and within two years was topping the M45 rankings in Britain. He also had a remarkable record as a fell runner, including four consecutive top ten placings in the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon (KIMM).

Towards the end of his life he lectured in Outdoor Studies at Ilkley College, Yorkshire. He died on 26 February 1998 from cancer.

Selected routes


  • Crossbones, Malham – E2 5c (First free ascent – 1967)
  • Doubting Thomas, Malham – E5 6b (First ascent – 1971)
  • Face Route, Gordale – E3 6a (First ascent – 1971)
  • Jenny Wren, Gordale – E5 6a (First ascent – 1971)
  • Central Wall, Kilnsey – E4 6a (First free ascent – 1972)
  • The Diedre, Kilnsey – E2 5b (First free ascent – 1972)
  • Deliverance, Gordale – E5 6b (First ascent – 1973)
  • Mossdale Trip, Gordale – E6 6a (First ascent – 1977)
  • Clink, Trow Gill - Now 7a (First Free ascent - 1972)

Lake District

  • Lunatic, Chapel Head Scar – E3 5c (First ascent – 1974)
  • Footless Crow, Goat Crag – E5 6b (First ascent – 1976)
  • Javelin, Trowbarrow Quarry – E1 5b (First ascent – 1976)

Peak District

  • Debauchery, High Tor – E1 5b (First free ascent – 1967)
  • Darius, High Tor – E2 5c (First free ascent – 1974)
  • Nightmare of Brown Donkeys, High Tor – E3 6a (First free ascent – 1975)
  • Behemoth, Water-cum-Jolly – E5 6b (First free ascent – 1976)
  • China Spring, High Tor – E5 6a (First ascent – 1976)
  • The Girdle Traverse, High Tor – E5 6b (First free ascent – 1976)
  • Downhill Racer, Froggatt – E4 6a (First ascent – 1977)


  • Right Wall, Dinas Cromlech – E5 6a (First ascent – 1974)


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